An avalanche of Garden Activity
Previously mentioned at Kiss the Garden: Delivery of an abundance of plants to plant.
I received a garden catalogue mid-winter that I had never seen before. Wow! You can get a lot of perennials for real cheap! I need perennials. I'm ordering some!!
And I did. All told, I think the package contained almost 75 plants, because, gee, you can get 10 of these for $3.95 and 12 of these for $6.00 and I need three packets of those cause I need to mix up the different types, and then there were the freebies and perennial mixes thrown in for good measure.
Such a deal!
Now, of course, I'm feeling like a slave to my garden. Shockingly these plants came as bare root, so I can't ignore their plight for very long and I need to get them in the ground. I knew I knew I knew they would show up when I had the least amount of time to deal with them: houseguests, final project at the university, End of the Year program for our students, more houseguests, holidays. And weeds weeds weeds to contend with before I can entrust these babies to their new homes. I tried to prepare, and I nagged the catalogue company for insight into delivery date. They couldn't be pinned down and I was ill prepared for when they hit my mailbox.
Ironically, the plants were to be delivered on the day of the tornado, but the tracking notice said there was no access to the delivery site. Puhleeeese! A mere tornado will stop you from delivering?! But I was expecting a box. Or boxes. Of plants with green tops and maybe packed with a bit of dirt around their roots. Instead I found a plastic bag stuffed into my mailbox. Ouch (on behalf of the plants.)
All told, I'm dealing with my own naivete. About a lot of things. Tornadoes for one. Small print in garden catalogues for another. And that thing about the best laid plans, etc.
But mostly I've come face to face with my own personal limitations again. Both in my understanding of this world's system(s), and in my ability to cope with an avalanche of things out of my control.
I'm okay with that. It is actually a good place to be. But I'm headed straight out to the garden today. Hours to go before I rest.....
Tornadoes are made of sky
Last Friday was the day of preparation for Pesach. I spent much time in the kitchen and decrying the fact that the horseradish I intend to grow in the garden hadn't even arrived from the nursery yet. (When the horseradish came, and all the other accompanying perennials, I was certainly underprepared to get 50 plus plants into the ground--but that's another story.)
All day we received tornado warnings on our phones. But we've received those before, and never did a tornado darken our paths. The family went north to go ice skating. I took a walk in the forest with my d.i.l. and granddaughter.
We were all out in the world and vulnerable when eight tornadoes (so they say) touched down around us to the west and north west, within a mere couple of miles and skipping over our immediate vicinity. We had no rain, no wind, no sound of a speeding locomotive. Just the dark heavy sky, lower than I've ever seen. We scoffed at tornado warnings. We mocked wussy locals who skitter into hiding at the slightest threat of "weather."
But we will be more attentive next time, I assure you. Our sense of safety and well-being was rooted in the familiar. The air was soft and pliant, the sky dark, but unmoving. Yet when two types of air(warm and moist in the lower atmosphere, cooler in the upper) meet and their relationship becomes unstable, the inherent power hidden within the meekness of mere air can become staggering.
"People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time," it was said of Aslan. To a certain degree everything has a touch of each, especially if we are to experience to any degree the beauty, power and, yes, holiness, of creation and creation's God. Yes, tornadoes are made of sky, and the sky is most often beautiful...and without air there is no life. Yet, even air, invisible, ubiquitous, can rumble with a power that confirms how small we really are.
While it's raining outside, the temperatures are warm, and the world is greening up. I've pulled out my box of warm weather clothes and am struggling each morning to know what to wear, my grasping fingers must be pried off the black pants or heavy jeans, and the long-sleeved shirt with a sweater. That is spring here. The switch is miraculously quick, such that your head spins.
This is one in a series of series of "out the window" photos, that have chronicled the change of seasons in my new home. The window at the end of the upstairs hallway is my first stop before descending the stairs to the coffee pot and the start of day. I often find the view magical, and it sets the tone for the gift of the day to come.
The Truth about the weeds
Yes I've been trying to make friends with the weeds, my unintended garden inhabitants. I want to say "visitors," but they seem to set up camp with every intention to stay. So I've been meditating on Weed-dom quite a bit, and do have to correct some previously-stated misconceptions.
The weeds don't belong in my garden. They are indeed more like the little foxes in the vineyard, than the gift of a place-holder I was hoping they could be. They do bring in more green-ness, but they are invaders and crowd out what I want to see in the garden, be it aesthetics or provision.
Moreover, they speak to me of how my life gets out of hand when untended. How little thoughts and actions can creep in and establish themselves as habit, then grow and grow, until I am no longer the image of who I want to be. These thoughts need to be taken captive, and our actions need to obey the truth. Otherwise the garden gets overgrown and any fruit attempting to manifest withers, rots, or gets infested, and the life--the garden-- is unproductive.
So I am watching the weeds. There are more now than I can keep at bay, but I can limit their impact by removing all that grow too big and threaten their surroundings. And one day, I know, the garden will be purged. Purified.
It is April, and the forecast for the day included snow. I was disappointed when it didn't happen. But better still is the rain that is watering the seeds I've been tending for over two weeks. Poppies, Lupines, Violas and, of course, the grass seed...
…which seem to be just sitting there, encased in green paint, or whatever it is they use, mocking me as they rest on the surface of the earth. I am lowering my expectations again, and my vision of a green carpet in the meadow areas is dissipating.
But so is my capacity to care. It is one more thing --quite a simple thing really--to give up to the God who created all things. Not that the weeds and the bare ground cannot agitate my soul each time I pass by, but I can capture those thoughts and focus on more important things, like how to get the garden dirt stains out of the knees of my one-and-only pair of jeans? Ah. Another mystery.
The antidote to mystery is revelation. Revelation is God's territory. And, yes, I'm (sort-of) joking about the jeans, But I am willing to receive from Him any revelation available, knowing full well He is an excellent judge of my ability to handle it.
So I don't mind starting with something small. Grass seeds, for instance. Or red-clay stains ground into my jeans by immersing myself in the garden. But of late the best revelation has been of a glimpse of the depth and intensity of His love and sacrifice, for me. For you. For the love of His created beings.