I may enter a zone of transcendence, in which I marvel at all the accidents of fate, since the beginning of life on earth, that led to my genes being created and my standing in this particular garden in a contemplative and imagining mind. I’ve been reading recently how reflection evolved. What a fascinating solution to the rigors of survival … how amazing that a few basic ingredients — the same ones that form the mountains, plants, and rivers — when arranged differently and stressed could result in us.
More and more of late, I find myself standing outside of life, with a sense of the human saga laid out before me. It is a private vision, balanced between youth and old age, a vision in which I understand how caught up in striving we humans get, and a little of why, and how difficult it is even to recognize, since it feels integral to our nature and is, but I find it interesting that, according to many religions, life begins and ends in a garden.
~ Diane Ackerman, Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden
I go out to the garden with a bucket, stretch my fingers into my gardening gloves, and kneel on the ground. Mr. and Mrs. B, the former owners of the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, had chickens. (Remember the rooster they left behind?) The chickens must have laid a lot of eggs. I know this because not all of the debris on the ground is plastic. There are crushed egg shells everywhere. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the egg shells from the plastic, but I’m getting better at it. I am building a large collection of plastic pieces, and a thought about using them passes through my mind. What would it look like if I were to randomly glue them all onto a large canvas? An abstract in debris.
I’m contemplating the garden path once again. In that post I showed you a beautiful garden, the fence entwined with morning glories, Prince Owlbert at his post, the light warm and soft, the greenery lush.
That’s the lovely thing about photography as art. I can show you the beauty that resides in the harshness of reality. Editing life with visual poetry.
Summer’s sumptuousness played its part in shielding what winter has exposed. The thick vines and brush hid the trash underneath. That’s true just about everywhere on the property. Every day more is revealed. Big plastic bins hiding in the marsh near the edge of the creek. More bags of household trash found in the woods. Windows, vinyl siding, roofing materials hidden in thickets.
Back in the garden, as I look around, I realize that even with all the trash, this is, this will be, a very good garden. I can visualize it in my mind, and if I can visualize it, I can bring it into being. I don’t have to rely on visualization alone. Go back to The Garden Path post again. Look at how the tomato plants spill out through the fence. With little care, because we didn’t have time for gardening last summer, the plants grew lavishly, lusciously, spreading far and wide. The tomatoes were juicy and delicious and tasted of summer heat and sunlight. I have never before seen tomato plants grow with such wild abandon.
So. The soil is good. And the clean-up is coming along, slowly but surely. I will plant tomatoes and peppers, lettuces and other greens (some kind of kale, I think, or Swiss chard), maybe some eggplant and zucchini. I found a raised bed just outside the garden fence. It was covered in vines, and I had no idea it was there until I started removing the vines. It will make a wonderful herb garden.
A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.
~ Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education
That’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for this chilly Friday. It’s hard to believe that February is almost over, and we’ll be entering March tomorrow. Spring seems so close if you look at the calendar, yet so far if you look at the weather forecast. Winter keeps on keeping on. We will have a warm-up this weekend before the next cold snap. It will be a good weekend to work outside and get the gardens ready for spring.
Thank you so much for stopping by and having a look around the gardens with me. Do you have any plans for the weekend? If you’re free, come on over. I could always use an extra pair of hands. When we’re finished for the day, we can watch the sunset from the dock, then come back to the house for a bowl of excellent gumbo. With Mardi Gras on the near horizon, I decided to do some Cajun/Creole cooking. Once the gumbo is gone, I’m thinking jambalaya. M will be making cornbread to go with it. Good stuff.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂