Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Working Weekend

Some work feels good.

I had a working weekend last weekend, and though it took me a couple of days to recover from it, it felt good.  Why?  Because Spring is in the air and Spring means going outside and tending to external things--yards, plants, fallen branches, new plantings.  In short, all of the ways that Sping, in Nature, is a rebirth.

That first cutting of grass was a joyous occasion, though I promise myself that feeling will not last.  We hired some people to take a "scorched Earth" approach to our back yard, and now, missing trees and seedlings and months later, we have both sun and grass back there.  So cutting the verdant grass and clover and alfalfa back there, taming it for the first time, if you will, had a special feel to it, almost like a welcome.  You are now a yard.  Before you were weeds sprouting in the shade.

Sun also means, for me, that I can grow things to eat.

And so, raspberries.  And blackberries.  For the first time ever, besides a fig tree set backwards by outrageous temperatures the last two years, I am planning to grow fruit.  I bought five plants at Ace Hardware, as well as the requisite soil and peat moss, and I started some berry vines on the path of what I hope will be a long and beautiful friendship.

To do that, I needed a fence and some holes that I would have to dig.  And dug.  And if you are not used to digging holes, mixing peat and soil, as I am not, you are going to feel it for a few days.  Some work feels good.

Each day since, I have walked to the edge of my yard to look for evidence that those roots have taken hold.

Oh, and a garden in the backyard, where there was none.  Early ambition had me renting a tiller and digging up a 22 x 12 plot, but then I thought, what if it doesn't all grow?  What if rushing to prepare the soil undercuts my effort?  So I took the old shell of a sandbox that has languished in my backyard for over 20 years and maneuvered it to what I hope is a prime location (not yet confident about the path of the sun) and, while looking around, focused on all of the dead leaves,vs ticks, and pine needles covering parts of the yard, and thought, why not rake up all of this and let it provide drainage on the front end and rich, organic material down the road?  (Actually, my wife raked it up and I spread it inside.)

Yes, a weekend of bending and lifting, digging and lifting, carrying and planting, pulling and yanking, digging and hauling, gathering and spreading.  All using muscles not used much during the cold months, muscles that would alert me to their fatigue for several days.

But no matter, for all of this work points to one thing and one thing only:  hope.  We never know if what we put in the ground will yield anything.  But we hope.  And that makes some work feel good, at least for now.

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