I planted veggies, fruits, and flowers today, and though it was tiring work, I found myself grinning as I recalled the feeling of playing in the dirt as a child. There is a primitive satisfaction in the idea of plunging my hands into mud, clay, or sand. The cool, dark, fecund dampness feels like a return to beginnings.
I dug up soil, dropped in columbine roots surrounded by more soil, and then topped it with yet more soil. As I did so, I remembered the zinnia seeds I planted in a small pot when I was seven. I watered the soil and waited for the multi-colored blooms pictured on the seed packet to sprout. I felt such failure and loss when the picture never emerged. Did I water them too much or not enough? Should I have talked to them more? Were they duds? It was my first lesson that even a seed given water, soil, and sun might not meet all the conditions to survive. I had suspected that life was not easy, but this was nature’s own proof.
Last night my husband came home and found a small torn-open box lying next to our garage. In it was just one bottle of Prebiotin, a prebiotic fiber supplement we take at our house. I had ordered two bottles, at 40 bucks a piece – normally well worth it, because this stuff is medically proven and it helps me keep my weight down, gives me energy, and makes me feel healthier. As I pondered the missing bottle, I realized a thief had taken the box off our front porch, hoping for expensive Christmas goodies. Then he had run through our yard—we really must get a fence—torn open the box, yanked out one bottle, dropped the box, and taken off through the alley.
Last night I was angry, thinking that $40 feels like a lot of money, and that everybody loses because the thief can’t make any money selling dietary fiber on the black market. Can he? But today I’m grinning, thinking that, if he decides to use it himself, he’s going to be the most regular thief in Denver. However, I’m still feeling a little petty, so part of me hopes he takes too much, and can’t find a toilet…
Remember how I whined earlier this summer that my vegetable seeds weren’t sprouting? Be careful what you whine about. Now my zucchini plants are arm-wrestling with my tomato plant for square-foot-garden domination.
My zucchini plants are arm-wrestling with my tomato plant for square-foot-garden domination.
For me, life is an endless series of reminders of my favorite movies and books, and gardening is no exception. I’m a remedial gardener, as you can tell from the staking system I use for my tomato plant – adding one bamboo stake after another until it looks like a bundle of pickup sticks, and the whole thing still leans. But I do know stories…