The rain came in time. Before, the ground was simply too hard to dig up the invasive plants taking over the entry way. Although still hard work, the physical and mental exercise were welcome. Perhaps because was hard work, I welcomed it.
Such a tumultuous season heavy with disappointment and light with unexpected surprises.
Here is an analogy of plants and people as best I can remember. I have carefully planted certain ground cover plants to fill in the entryway. Some are moisture and cool weather lovers that little enjoy Iowa’s extremes. Others fare pretty well and have spread nicely. They know their limits, transplant easily and open up charming diminutive amethyst flowers. But, they all need attentive, reinforcement, and appreciation. Without those elements, along come the exotic invaders. Crab grass just spreads out and smothers everything else. Normally, it’s OK by me because it does hold soil and grows where little else can. Not here, thanks. It is easily uprooted, however. Gill over the Ground also called “Creeping Charlie” in the right places can be a decent ground cover because it doesn’t need mowing and has a pretty flower attractive to pollinators. But, it winds itself deeply into the Thyme, making removal difficult, time consuming, and compromising to the Thyme. So, I ask the Thyme to excuse my actions, promising a “better life” after the excision. Hope I am not lying.
The task is daunting with the heat and the thick, clay soil. I thought of people and the various ways we would approach this. Some would dive in and not stop until done. Even when a break would be needed. Others would be methodical and plan out the task even spreading it out over the day or several days, depending on the weather and how quickly the soil returned to its “concrete” state. Others, still, would be totally random picking away here and there and suddenly leaving the whole project. Among the desired plants and the invaders are accidentally dropped wildlflowers. I carefully lifted them out and transplanted them to more suitable locations. Some people would rip them out along with the invaders or get every one. I was in the middle on this task. I’d pause, look back to where I had been, smooth over the dirt I’d disturbed. Tenderly tamped in the “desireables.” And, I would look forward, calculating how much further, what was hardest to do, easiest, check the sun and what time I could devote to this. Essentially, ask “Where is best to go from here?” Then, I’d go in for a drink, see the bunnies, take the clippings and “dug ups” to the compost heap or chickens for foraging the bugs and worms out. Not many of the latter since with this heat they are deep underground.
So, with relations. Sometimes we carefully cultivate, other times we interact randomly. Some happen. We can be harsh and toss “the baby out with the bathwater” and we can be tender. Tom Capo, Peoples Church minister said once that few people have any long term plans for friendship. I will add, people in general have no plan for long term friendships. So, we jump from one person to another, overwhelm some “plants”, pick up the newest sparkly thing on the beach and toss it away as facilely as naught. Hmmm pretty heavy labyrinthine lessons.
What is mine to do? Look ahead, look back, tend the garden as carefully as I can. Echos of Enya’s “Pilgrim” echo in my mind.