Thursday, April 15, 2010

15 April 1956 “Out in the Garden”

gardenwomen Sorry I have been wretchedly lax of late. I have been, as the title says, out in the garden. I have felt the call of the increasing warmth and that New England rush one gets after the long cold winter spread out in shortened daylight and waiting. Once that touch of Spring hits us, it is all we can do to stay still. For, particularly where I live, Spring is often very short and Summer will soon be upon us. There is soil to be turned, fences to be erected, plans carried out, seedlings nurtured. So, my excuse for less time here is more time in the yard.

I often wondered what it would be to garden in a place like California where it is warm the year round and one could, presumably, grow things all the time. The anxious rush of spring, the distant dreaming and planning of winter, the sadness of August tinged with the flutter of Autumns coming coolness. How would it be? How would I be? Would I be less anxious come Spring? Would I consider it Spring? If I could grow tomatoes the year round, how would that affect me. I suppose it could make one more realistically closer to self sustenance, but how would it make me feel overall?

There is a quality to the life here, in New England, that has its poignancy in the seasons. Do I appreciate Spring and Summer more because of Fall and Winter? Would that early bird song, or the first moment I track the sun across the wooden floor now to the piano, making me realize the Earth’s tilt and the coming Spring, feel as important? Would I be more at ease and enjoy the Garden more if it were there to be all the time, or does it being blanketed and like an austere sculpture garden in winter make it more a blessed thing come high Summer? I honestly don’t know.

I love gardening. I love the act of planting seed and watching them grow to a food on my plate or flowers in my home. I love the soil, the touch and smell of it. I love the scratch of the chicken and the scratch of the chicken wire, as we struggle to keep out the rabbit or deer. So, were I to have this year round how would it be?

Since I haven’t any plans to move to a place such as California or Florida, I suppose I won’t know. I was thinking the other day, if I had endless wealth, where would I choose to live? I immediately pictured a lovely old estate in Oxfordshire England. And, what would I love there besides the wonderful architecture? The Gardens. And again, there are the seasons. So, perhaps they are such a part of me that to take myself out of them would make me feel odd. As if I was always forgetting something; wandering about wondering at all this Summer not quite sure why and wondering of winter as if I had worried I left the stove on but couldn’t quite recall.

So, I suppose I have no answer really. I imagine those who have grown up in a year round warm climate would be as curious about the seasons and hate and loathe the cold days of winter. I think, having the advantage of ‘being at home’ makes a difference. To me, a snow storm is a marvel of fireside reading and coaxing the dogs to sit at my feet to share their warmth. The cool spiced air of fall only adds to the smell of the baking apples or the pungency of the pumpkin.

I do have the seasons and it is Spring, so I am out and taking advantage of every moment. Yet, I see we are to come upon three days of rain starting tomorrow, if the weather man can be trusted (nefarious things, weather men)and so then, I shall return to you all, tail between the legs, begging your pardons and wondering why you are not anxious to read my silly thoughts on scrubbing a floor or rather or not a petticoat can take the place of prozac. Yet, I shall return then, with a more informative post, but until then, I beg your leave, for the garden does await. The birds do sing, the sun has traced its path from the floor to the piano and my hands are aching for the soil. Until our rainy day, then.

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