Gardening As Life

This morning I set the table for the birds.

I decided to remove the big bowl of water and put it elsewhere, and put bird seed on the wicker table top.

Yes, it is messy. But it is an experiment. Sometimes experiments are messy. Some explode.

Instead of sitting on the edge of the table, they can sit atop of it. Yes, feet on the table. But the way, I do not know who said you shouldn’t put elbows on the table. That is fine sometimes but not always.

Actually, all of the bird feeders are quiet. They must be getting ready for vespers. I hear that Miss Wren, is singing a solo this morning.

As soon as I wrote that about the birds being quiet, they have burst into song. Seriously.

I find that I am writing a lot about birds.

This morning I transplanted three plants that aren’t doing well. I have tried my miracle cures, so now, a transplant is the last resort. I read that peonies don’t like to be transplanted, so we shall see.

The shoes in the photo are mine. They are my old shoes that I wear in the garden when I don’t wear my Wellies. I am forever cleaning up the patio and screened porch.

Here come the birds!

Do you know, I have done many things. I have written, painted, cooked, sculpted, sewn, you name it, I have done it.

When a painting or a piece I have written or a meal is cooked, or a sewing project has wrapped up, that is usually the end of it. There is no life to it. And that is part of the reason that I move on.

Gardening is different.

Really, I am just planting the seeds and growing the stage for what a garden can be. A garden is a living, breathing, piece of life. It really is. It is the hardest work of all of my projects, but I have to say, it is the most rewarding. Even in its failures.

Gardens bring nature to you and you really feel as thought you are contributing to life. I swear, I want to put a bee hive in the back.

As I walk the gardens and the yard, and look closely at the flowers and bushes, I see so many fluffy bees, butterflies that flitter and flutter and frolic. I see bunny butts, white tails, scamper away when I approach. The birds are my playlist.

None of my other hobbies or professional endeavors, have actually created an environment for me. For Nick. For neighbors. In a silly way, they are my community. I feel a responsibility to keep the bird feeders supplied, not use pesticides, and even if plants have passed their peak, I see their benefit in providing seeds and insects for the critters.

I think this is another life lesson for me. It is an extension of changing the world one person at a time. Having a living, breathing project that depends on you for water, nourishment and care, is amazing. It is a project that gives back.

More and more of my callings are coming from an internal place that says “Be still. Look at nature. Live with the earth and not just on it.”

There are a couple of little piglets at the bird table. It is the funniest thing. What a great way to see them in action.

Why is it that I learned this so late in life and not in my twenties or thirties, when I could have had this treasure in my life for a longer time?

I guess it is all about timing. Nature was there all of the time. I simply ignored it.

As a writer, and because of my nature, for my whole life, I have observed people. I stored looks, personalities, behaviors, in my writer’s mind. But nature, landscape, were mostly part of the narrative , not a living breathing thing.

But now, other than those I love and those I come across in life, my interest in people is different. It is hard to define the difference without having it sound like I am going into Hermitville.

Oh, I would love to have someone sitting in the rocker next to me, enjoying watching what I am watching. Camaraderie through silence. Comfortable silence.

And meaningful talk. I do enjoy meaningful conversation.

Two birds just left the table and a female cardinal has taken over. The two other birds are back and the cardinal flew away.

Oh, here is something off the subject. Are any of you forgetting some words? It is driving me crazy.

Just thought I’d throw that in.

Time to get to work. The other human bean in the house is still sleeping. Maybe I will make us some breakfast.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Henry David Thoreau



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