The hotdog and I were making the rounds of the flower beds after I got home from work. I raked lightly through the layers of dead foliage that should have (ahem) been cleared in the fall. She was blissfully stuffing her long snout into holes made by the dirt dwelling moles. We each were basking in the moment under skies that were soft end-of-day gray. The smell of the earth as it moved under my blue hand digger brought back memories of sitting in my mother’s garden and eating tomatoes like they were apples. I would watch as she worked, not comprehending how or why she found peace and enjoyment in clearing leaves and seeing flowers and plants coming to life inch by inch.
“You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” — Author Unknown. Sounds suspiciously like my dog.
Tom came out and sat on the steps near my patch of ground. Fresh air and quiet conversation. Silence. A laugh as the hotdog found a chicken bone and a dog treat she had stashed in the soil who knows how long ago. Winter’s long locks of dried plant stems slowly were cleared and gave way to purple and white crocuses. An owl hooted as the featured soloist in a chorus of crickets. The sound of geese drew my eyes upwards and I stood for a moment watching two of the birds flying far above the pines at the edge of the woods. Life was happening all around as it was supposed to. Contentment.
“Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.” — Author Unknown. The back is mine.
The daunting flower bed project became a pleasure. The more I slowly cleared, the more work I saw to be done. Accepted that it had to be done. Vibrant growth was on the move. Digging up the soil showed me what my flower bed was made of, what potential beauty it held, and what problems had been camouflaged under the clingy lifeless leaves of a winter past.
One problem was a carpet of moss that had begun laying itself down in velvety patches underneath the foliage. I pealed away a patch of the moss and thought about an article I had read; it said basically that you can remove the moss, but as long as the conditions are right, it will keep on coming back. I started picturing cancer as green and soft and velvet, like moss. Creeping around in my body until we determine how to change soil conditions. I hope and pray that has been accomplished and we have come to a truce. Let the creeping stop.
There is a paper on my counter that arrived yesterday; it has a schedule for May 22nd that includes an MRI. I’m asking the Master Gardener to overrule any moss growing conditions in my body. We’ll know better after the May 22nd soil test.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” — Jesus (John 15:1)
In the meantime, the hotdog and I will keep on digging.
“Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.” — Author Unknown. I think it may have been my mom.