hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Earth Abides

Sun at last, and all day long: the kind of spring day we have been longing for. You get out in the yard as quick as you can and then last as long as you can, which may not be as long as you'd like. It is clear to me that I have not spent my winter ensuring that my legs were ready for all that getting up and down that the garden requires when spring arrives in a single day.

What I am mostly doing is removing shallow-rooted, aggressive early spring weeds. I'm trying not to disturb the soil too much, and i can hear my father telling me i should not be messing in the garden at all when the soil is still pretty much mud. But, but, but, I say, it is the first nice day we've had, and besides my father never gardened in wetlands with buttercups and pop weed and dandelions, so perhaps his rules don't apply, perhaps the mud won't lose its oxygen by being further compacted.  In fact, I don't really know whether this abysmal soil ever had any oxygen in it, so I don't know whether it is possible for me to make it worse by mere mucking about with a trowel.

I was talking to one of the old timers here the other day and he said he didn't think he would be able to till his fields before the first of May. Clearly he is of my father's school. Another friend used today's gracious sun to plant his peas. Poking those little soaked pellets into theground is surely not going to be doing any harm to the soil and doubtless the extra moisture will be very useful to the peas in their yearning to get back up above ground. But there I am, trowel in hand anyway, poking about in the ground, and gathering bucket after bucket of leafy weeds.

And comes nightime, those unused muscles will be complaining bitterly to me about their recent ill use. And, Hallelujah! We will be back in the endless toil of the garden. I believe we come from gatherers, not hunters, and that explains all the difference.

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