We are back in the garden today, the place you would find me if you were visiting in the flesh. As you may know, everyday for the last 3+ months, I have gotten out of bed at a time that is considered "crazy early" by my standards. Although, it seems my standards have changed, because if I happen to open my eyes at 6:20 a.m., I am annoyed at myself for sleeping so late.
At 5 a.m., the garden is waiting, and I have plenty of work to do...
Right at this moment, as I am typing, something odd has come over me. I was going to keep this post simple, but all of a sudden, I feel compelled to type what it is, that is going on here, at A Fanciful Twist...
You see, I believe in paths. I believe in learning and growing, I believe in feeling, even if the feelings are not always over the top happy. I would rather feel, no matter how raw, than not feel at all.
It's funny, you know, for 10 years I have tried to grow things at the country house ( I have told you this before). The country house already had 40 year old roses, and trees and other beauties growing.
But, I wanted to grow my own seeds. I wanted to watch them flourish...
Granted, years ago I was not that savvy about what country gardening required, or what the earth at the country pad required.
But, I tried for many years, and only got a little sprig here or there. And then, this spring, I started early, and seeds became my passion. I watered and believed, and made huge garden dreams with my pups.
And now, my garden is holding my hand. My garden is embracing me. Embracing my little family here...
Little characters in my mind, tell each other stories, as I roam our land.
Two little gals sit in the grass, one visiting and one gardening. The visiting little girl asks the gardener girl, "Why are you planting so many seeds and spending all your time in the garden...?"
And the gardening little girl says, "I am filling my voids with seeds and seedlings..."
The visitor asks, "What are your voids?"
And the little gardener girl replies, "I am not sure yet, but I am preparing myself..."
And just like that, the garden becomes a sort of Mister Miyagi, and teaches me so many things.
Would you care to hear a tiny bit of what I have learned, in my little garden?
It's not just lessons, but also, reminders with real life examples.
So, the journey of the last 3+ months, and tons of hard labor (with bruises and cuts galore) goes like this.
Hello 5 a.m.
Pups and I head out to check hundreds and hundreds of seeds that I planted.
I check out everything. I find out where the gophers have been, and where the rabbits have been, and I wonder with slight fear, what precious growing creatures might be missing.
Sometimes, pumpkin vines you have been nurturing like crazy, go from this...
To this (4 pumpkin vines down, note the gopher hole)...
At first when I started losing plants to gophers I would totally freak out. But now when I find this, I sulk for a second and then I have to just shrug my shoulders and say "ooooh weeeeel," in my best Eeyore voice.
At this point I feel like, anything that survives is just blessed luck. I learn to let go a little bit more with each loss. 3 months hard work, gone in 2 seconds. And, it's okay.
So, every morning it begins again. Early morning comes, and we venture down the path, headed out to a handful of garden areas, where watering time ensues.
I have gone through several different gardening persona's over the course of seed, to seedling, to hearty plant. I have been the cave girl gardener. Using anything I could find to build my garden, while carrying tons of rocks around, to build paths and borders.
I have also been, the blair witch gardener. Where I mask all my growing spaces with scary curved branches and tons of creepy brush. It has been quite funny, in a way.
In early spring, at the same time the garden was starting to show signs of life, we found out that Baby had a tumor. I cried and cried and felt jolts of loss pain. I curled in the dirt (exactly where she is in the photo above), my body wrapped around hers. If I made the slightest jester to move, she would grab me with her snout and bring me back to spoon hugging position.
We needed a second opinion, so we tried a new vet. She was awesome. We had renewed hope.
We continued cuddling in the garden, watching the sky...
My garden began to really flourish. Random wildflower seed delivered (and continues delivering) superbly interesting blooms...
I had all but given up on wildflower mixes and dreaming of surprise flowers that might bloom.
Until this year.
I guess you can say, my foolish determination cup, is refilled ;)
I suppose foolish determination might be here for a long time, after-all.
Last week, just as the huge apricot tree way out back, began to offer us fruit that was ready for picking...
We got the dreaded call, rottenly, while Mister Lovee was on a business trip. Baby's biopsy came back. The results are less than good. I felt terribly awful. I held on tight, to a wave of peace in my soul.
I cried and cried.
Then, I thought about the garden, and the lessons it has taught me over the last 3 months. I thought about life, and loss. About the beauty of it all. About how tender and fragile everything is.
I made a decision...
I let go.
I have no control over anything really, so there is nothing to hold on to.
The only thing I can control a tiny bit, is how I decide to live.
I choose to live a happy life.
Baby has had a wonderful life here. She changed me, and she enhanced my life beyond words.
And, more importantly, she is still here, she still has a life to live, and I want it to be as good as it has always been. No matter how long she has...
So, for now it is pure love, and parties and living.
The other day, we met under the apricot tree, her and me...
And a friend even joined us...
For apricot picking.
While we were picking apricots I thought, life doesn't have to lose is luster because yucky things happen. We don't have to stop twirling, and feeling free, because sad waves visit us. I think that, as long as we allow ourselves to feel, and leave the doors to our heart and mind open, then goodness can find us.
Ebb and flow, ebb and flow.
I am sad that Baby has to go through this. I am sad that I will lose her sooner than I want to. But I would be sadder, if I had never known her.
So, I feel happy that she is here now. And that we get to pick apricots together, and roll in the dirt like dogs :)
Life is sweet.
It has so much to offer. Perception is key...
I love that time does not stand still. It moves. It flows.
And just as quickly as we lose 4 pumpkin vines, another flourishes...
I decide to give it a hand. Taking pollen from a male flower, and delivering it to a female...
And just like that, a baby pumpkin begins to grow.
It's a kooky little adventure isn't it?
Maybe we are not always open to change...
But, when a 10 ft. cactus falls over unexpectedly, 5 seconds after you were kneeling right under it, you can't be sad about losing the beloved cactus, but be happy that 5 seconds saved you from a 300 lb. head smash. Change happens, eeks!
All I could say was, "Timber?"
My garden is teaching me lessons.
Big ones, little ones, all different sized ones.
I am listening, living and loving...