My Garden Life --#1
What is Utopia? Can there ever be one?
Just as its origins in Greek suggest, I believe it is not. Or it is: no place. Perfection is a changeless condition. Forever changing by the plus factor is an improvement on perfection. Better is the continual change of life in process. Always growing. Always changing. Always opportunity for something better.
My garden life is that. In my garden the cycles of life are spiralic--always ascending. If not by the bean vine's physical form in summer, then by the release of its Spirit through nourishing my body, or by its life-essence focused in the seed for next season's destiny: re-emergence of Spring.
The garden. At one time the garden to me was a plot of production. Produce. Vegetables, berries. Roots and herbs. Flowers were periphery. Not the main page. Doodles at the edge of the grocery list.
There is a new view now. Acceptance of a softer reality. Marily nurtured it – persisting through my resistance:
“Nonsense, you can’t eat them.”
“Too expensive; they take up all that space.”
But she never let up. “I want beauty in the borders.”
Color and fragrance.
Window boxes like in Europe.
Cut flowers for the house.
Bouquets for the table.
Marriage has tempered my stark ways and insistence. At first I thought it necessary to nullify the perceived-silly thought remnants of my mother still spinning in my head. Raving exclamation over the color of that rose. Screaming excitement for the first blooms of her petunias. To me it was exaggerated emotion for the ordinary all around. Nature on the farm was everywhere. It was all nice and always there. The gardens, the fields, the herd and flocks, the woods and creek with the tadpoles and frogs. The birds and cats and dogs. And wild animals, still quite often observed from a distance.
Even with the hard work of farm living, life was good. At the time it didn’t seem easy, but it was good. It was full. And though we didn’t have a lot of money, I didn’t experience Great Depression or the loss of war. Those stories that Mom and Dad kept fresh for themselves were of experience kept further than arms-length for us kids. Insistence of hard work, scrimping and saving, a penny saved is a penny earned, and clean up your plate ‘cause there are starving kids in China—all made us know that things could be worse, were for others, and could be again if we weren’t intent in no-nonsense, industry and our prayers, Hail Mary, Holy Mother of God.
So, out on my own and starting a family as a man in my early 20s, I tweaked a few of the values earlier learned.
- First, I guess was admitting that enjoyment/pleasure was okay in itself—not just the satisfaction of harvesting a crop or bringing a pot of soup to the sick neighbor.
- Second, hard work for sure, but some of it was really hard play to exhaustion.
- Third was spiritual worth, though that evolved from mainline severe-ness, through new-age fringe and fluff, to dead-center fulfillment, which we all claim in our current belief. But this is for real. And if you don’t know, I can’t tell you. 'Cuz all us humans are as stubborn. And we all have to come to the knowing of truth in belief and fullfillment ourselves. Maybe.
- And fourth, gardening.
Last night I noticed another zucchini ready to pick just before dark when it rained. This morning we enjoyed mint and nettle tea.
I am a lucky Soul.