Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It Was Simply glorious!

The wind is bringing down Mayday petals in a blizzard. Through shafts of sunlight the falling blossoms could be snow. The garden is quiet, except for the occasional visit of a blackbird pair who dance and entertain each other with their mechanical wheeze and clacking song, a pair of rosy finches, or a robin intent on a bath. The white-crowned sparrows have moved on, and taken their squabbles with them. The quail come early in the morning, and are back to their nest by the time I'm up and about.

The hosta I'd almost given up for dead is now a plate-sized cluster of saucer-sized blue leaves and growing rapidly. Beautiful! I love the way water beads up on the leaves of a hosta. I could work out there all day, picking up here and there, a touch here, a little rearrangement there. What a joy it is to be able to be outside in the garden.

My Australian blog friend Rhonda writes eloquently about the comforting joys of home, and the steadying routine of caring for home and garden. I'd like to have her skills, which are many, but I am basically content with what I know how to do. However I have a skill I don't always use, the skill of pacing myself through a job so I don't totally burn down my energy supply to nothing. I sometimes deliberately throw this "skill" out the window and burn as cheerfully as the Christmas log.

I gardened all last week. On Saturday I went with the "Gardening Crew" from the park (five of us girls) to Penticton to buy the annuals which brighten and beautify the Park all summer. I love it that "Annabelle" and Judy are willing to spend both time and money to make this a beautiful place to live. And I was thrilled to be asked to join the "crew" of volunteers who choose and plant out the many flowers each spring. Of course while we were choosing plants for the Park I couldn't resist buying another 20 or so for my own garden. But buying them means they need to be planted, and since I was feeling well I flew in and planted all those plants on Saturday afternoon. I was very tired on Saturday night.

Late Sunday morning we assembled on the beach to begin transplanting the huge number of plants we bought Saturday. It was lovely to work together. Working in a group multiplies your enjoyment of any task. But early in the afternoon I hit the wall. I knew I was pushing it when I walked down to the beach in the morning and every step felt as if I had a concrete block tied to each leg. But since moving can work off these minor episodes I persisted and soon I felt fine. Until about 2:00 pm.

Though I hated to do it about 2:00 I packed in my garden gloves and came home. The job was about 3/4s done, and I would have liked to have stayed to finish but not only my muscle but my heart said NO. When I start having cardiac pain I have no choice but to quit whatever I am doing.

I am now paying the price. The price in my case being muscle weakness to the extent that standing and walking are difficult. The house was a wreck this morning. (Surprising how much mess you make in a single day when you don't pick up.) Bless Tony, he helped me clean the stack of dishes, and I managed to sweep. That may be the only housecleaning done today but at least it's not a tip.

I think of Toad in that classic tale, Wind in the Willows. He is addicted to fast motorcars the way I am addicted to gardening. His friends take him in hand after he has wrecked a series of cars and almost killed himself. Badger gives Toad a dressing down and makes him promise never to drive a motorcar again, never to careen down the road at the ridiculous speed of 20 mph enjoying the wind in his face. With Badger looming over him Toad is contrite and cries big tears of remorse for all the worry he has caused his friends, and all the damage he has done his reputation and the countryside. He is, to all appearances a reformed Toad.

But when Badger brings Toad back into the room with his friends the Water Rat and Mole it is a different story. Badger orders Toad to repeat all the contrite promises made during their discussion.

"There was a long, long pause. Toad looked desperately this way and that, while the other animals waited in great silence. At last he spoke.

"No!" he said a little sullenly, but stoutly, "I'm not sorry. And it wasn't folly at all! It was simply glorious! ...I've been searching in my mind and going over things in it, and I find I'm not sorry or repentant really, so it's no earthly good saying I am; now is it?"

I find that, like Toad I may be convinced temporarily by my chiding body that I am truly foolish and reckless, but like him, I am not sorry, because to me gardening is glorious. And as soon as I am able, I will be back out there, gardening at 20 mph.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

20 mph...is that not a speeding infraction on your rv resort park premises?

It is raining here. Things are growing. Not me though...I am shrinking.