Tomorrow morning I’m going to head out to the garden. My kid will be at school. My husband will be at work. The street will be quiet. I’ll wear a stained REI sun shirt (pink), my beige hat with a flap down the back of my neck, scratched sun glasses with the nose cushion gone and green slip-on IKEA plastic shoes that look like they come from a circus supply store. My hands and face will be slick with Sierra Madre sunscreen.
I’ll stand just inside the garden gate and run through all the things I need to do:
Remove about 150 Jerusalem artichoke plants poking up in the pathways
Level one of the beds
Take out the bitter lettuce
Plant more lettuce
Thin the carrots
Ready the corn bed
Plant peppers, squash, cucumbers, tomato, amaranth, basil, and loofa
Look at a companion chart for the 1,000th time to see who likes to be next to who
Lay down the drip system
Talk to the green beans
Take out the flowering kale plants and feed them to the chickens
Re-adjust the CDs, hanging around the pea bed, that repel birds
Ponder what I’m not going to do about the grasshoppers that came so early this year.
Water the strawberries
Shore-up the bed that leaks onto the sidewalk
Re-do the shade structure over the greens
Talk to my neighbor who will stop by on her morning walk. We might talk about how nice the peach tree looks, or the latest child abuse case I have not watched on the news.
Two hours later I’ll head inside for lunch. The next day I’ll be back out there. And so-people ask…why is there not a garden in every front yard, on every street, in every neighborhood?
Not the kind of time that falls through the fingers in a thousand frenzied directions. But the kind of time that sits in a smooth solid ball in the center of the palm. The kind we can grasp onto and, with the power of our own fingers, mold into a handmade chair, a home-sewn dress, a novel, a fresh pie, a long conversation, a flower arrangement, a playful afternoon on the floor with our child … or a garden.
Now, where, oh where, can we find more of that?
The water system to untangle