Tag Archives: seasons

Gardening

Without encountering manure and decay, we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate a beautiful garden. We could plant seeds without preparing the soil. We could randomly drop them onto the ground without creating tiny holes and covering them up. We could forget to water them and pray for rain. We could wish that the sun wouldn’t bake them before they take root.

We could hope the seedlings that do sprout will survive without fertilizer. We could, because of convenience, make a pathway through them and believe that, despite our trampling, they will live. We could think that we will enjoy a great harvest if we just let them be. We could let our rakes, shovels and spades collect rust in the shed because gardens don’t really need muscle. We could let the weeds grow so tall and become so invasive that they begin to choke our plants.

Or we could get on our knees. We could get dirty. We could till the ground. We could carefully place them one by one in furrows and pat the soil on top of them. We could drag the watering can over again and again–no matter how cumbersome–and soak them.

We could plant them in a location where they will get just the right amount of sun. We could create a compost heap, be patient, try to ignore the smell and shovel black gold over them so they could thrive. We could go out of our way to take the longer path and walk around them. 

 

We could hope for a brilliant harvest but not expect perfection without any damage from pests or fungus. We could put our backs into it and use the tools we have to assist our baby shoots. We could repeatedly grab, pull and tug at those invasive weeds that threaten to overwhelm our plants. We could do all of these things if our garden is meaningful to us.

If we have even a speck of faith that the sun will come up each day, that falling waters quench thirst, that dirt–while making us feel unclean–can be washed off, our gardens will appear beautiful to us. We will see the loveliness and color as others see it.

 

And when we are too tired to plant, nurture, dig, pull, water, we will remember that all gardeners have periods when they get stuck on their knees in the mud or fall face down.  We could lay there for a while. Get a little strength back. Then we could try to stand or we could reach out for strong hands to pull us up.

We could begin to plant again–until we figure it out how it all works and how many seasons it takes to get it right. Eventually, we will harvest blossoms of success.


Autumn’s Spell

Today is one of those beautiful, fall SoFlo days that causes me to spout poetry like October by Frost or To Autumn by Keats. Every since I was a small girl, I was enthralled by the autumn sea breezes turned windy that mussed my hair and toyed with my dress’s hem.

As an adult, when I see the wind blustering through the arecas, the first thought skipping through my mind is whether or not my allergies are going to attack my sinuses and mess with my lungs. But then, memory, that all important muse, prods me into romanticizing fall like I did when I was a child and I am under autumn’s spell once more (armed with Clarinex).

So I can relive those milkweed moments from years ago when I spotted the pods opening and the tiny seedlings with fluff rising like nature’s balloons into the air. I can celebrate the first periwinkle morning glory that graces the fence. I can feel connected to that little blonde haired girl obsessed with growing things, stooping down to get a closer view of the green acorns, rubbing sage between her fingers and smelling it’s savory perfume–I can just be.

Falling into Autumn

Regardless of my native Floridian status, autumn is my favorite season. It’s true I’m deciduous leaf challenged and have yet to be so engrossed at looking up at a canopy of crimson that autumn sticks out her leg and down I go.

Yet, I do fall into autumn’s subtleties in other ways. Autumn in South Florida means many things like the traditional scents of the season, such as simmering mulled cider and pumpkin pies cooling on wire racks (in ninety degree plus weather).

But it’s much more than the fragrances of ginger, cloves and cinnamon wafting through the air. It’s sunlight that deepens from lemon zest to golden hues. It’s a sky, not desolate and bleak, but blue as salt water taffy pulled and stretched. It’s lower humidity that doesn’t smother one’s lungs like a scratchy, woolen blanket. It’s briny breezes that strengthen into whipping winds which bully our palm trees. It’s Chrysanthemums, my favorite fall flower, that greet my neighbors who stroll up to my door. It’s the sea, with kicked up waves, pounding the shore and leaving her treasures behind on the sand. It’s a harvest moon rise hauntingly reminiscent of our state fruit. 

While someday I hope to view a wide expanse of scarlet maples and canary birches, I must content myself, pumpkin latte in hand, with appreciating my hometown clothed in the fall’s misty dress.