in the garden

Posted on May 25th, 2009 by mountain girl  |  1 Comment »








Today was one of those damp, rainy, earthy-smelling days. David worked on the fence all day, and the Z and I were mostly out with him…digging around in the garden and pretending we were working hard, too.

It was really quite nice to be out in the wetness. Sometimes I think we forget that the earth was made to be home. We think our little brick-and-wood (or adobe:)) houses are home, but I think we ought to feel at home in the natural elements as well. Summer is supposed to feel hot, and not just during the mad dash between air-conditioned car and home or office! Winter, of course, should feel colder (as long as we have nice warm blankets -or better yet, bearskins- to cozy up in) but it seems we create insular bubbles around us to maintain what we deem as The All-Season Perfect Temperature (would that be called lukewarm?)

We can’t be out in the rain because it ruins our makeup and hairstyles, and we shouldn’t be out walking around in winter because we might catch a cold, or -heaven forbid- slip on the ice and twist an ankle. You’ll get skin cancer if you’re in the sun too long, and your lips will be chapped if you’re out in the wind. Don’t drink raw milk- it must be pasteurized. Don’t forget to get your shots- it’s flu season. Don’t touch the roses, they have thorns; don’t walk in the field, your allergies will flare up; don’t run barefoot in the grass, you’ll get stung by a bee and maybe die.

But I think we were made to live in this great garden of the earth, and embrace it with all its seasons and cycles. As I walked in the rain tonight, I smelled the rich, damp earth, and listened to the wet rustle of the trees. Only a thin layer of rubber sole seperates me from the hard dirt. My lungs pull in the oxygen without a filter, my eyes see nakedly, my skin feels the rain.

In my garden as I plant strawberries and peas and moonflowers, my hands are black. When I wash them, my fingernails stay black. I like touching the earth. It feels good. Like I’m strong and tough, like my life is deeper and more full than when I pad myself with a cush comfort zone.

But while my feet tread so close that I feel the bumps and rocks, I remember the other rocky aspects of life on earth, the lovely, dreamy things that all seem to eventually fade and lose their sparkle and give way to reality. Reality without cushion, like when your feet pound the hard-packed earth (or perhaps pavement) Reality like the frozen ice of winter, like the sweaty heat of midday in summer. Reality where your baby’s whine gets on your nerves, where your prince and your pumpkin vanish into thin air at the stroke of midnight, reality where you feel the dull thud of all the fallen joys and sparkles. Can I embrace those times like I embrace a cold rainy Memorial Day when everyone knows they should always be sunny? Would I be stronger and tougher if I could do that? Would I be wiser?

Maybe next time I’m down, or disappointed or angry, I’ll take that sourness and taste it. I’ll caress that earthiness like rich, crumbly dirt. I’ll feel my feet hit the pavement, I’ll feel the wind toughening my skin. I won’t shrivel and wilt. I’ll open my eyes like a flower in the rain, I’ll drink in the heat of the sun. I’ll learn to lean on the One who gives me strength. I’ll grow tougher, and I’ll be stronger, like a tough, knotty walking stick for others to lean on. I don’t want to be easily offended or hurt or threatened. I want to laugh easily, to cry for others, and slip lithely out of my easily bruised princess skin.

I’ll be at home wherever I find myself. I’ll love every season of my life, because it’s another season I get to live, and I’ll try nor to weep much for the seasons that are past. Because like spring, summer, fall and winter, they’ll change again, and again, and again.

And that is the beauty of life lived in this garden.

One Response to “in the garden”

  1. Your Lion says on :

    WOW Babesel… best post yet!!! You are profound and a poet and your words are almost as lovely as you! I’m so glad I’m yours and you are mine! Schmoochies Huge! /:O)