Walked on a wet afternoon to clear my head, allowing myself to get drenched down to squeegee wet sneakers, only to let it pass and enjoy intermittent sunshine while I trimmed the hedges. A world temporarily sweet-smelling, a scent of wet soil, cut grass florally infused. Birdsong. These perfect young apples with their faint blush, innocent of what is to come. The blemish that has hit them year after year.
I could talk about the pounds and pounds of raspberries this season, but I won’t. It’s the stuff that can be expected – the bounty of a perfect summer. With all its imperfections, like the blemished apples to come, the pigeons that have devoured all but one of my heads of lettuce, the critters that have decided that marigolds are no longer an option, the cucumber that has trellised itself into the roses. The neighbors eager to chop down the trees that block the light. In the midst of it all, a three-legged “queen” came to rest on my wheelbarrow today.
She moved when I moved to get my phone, and then she returned – waiting to let her wings dry, perhaps. There is no empathy between us. We are on different levels of awareness. And yet. In my barely managed garden, I’ve allowed the poppies, cornflowers, wildflowers and weeds to blossom. Three or four California poppies are blooming.
It has never been more clear to me that this garden is a lesson, and a piece of work. Every year is different, and that change is the lesson. I am a guest. A passing visitor. A haphazard, erring steward. Someone who sometimes goes to great lengths to feed the birds, and sometimes doesn’t. Sharing the berries or not.
Inconsistent, impatient, wilful, and destructive human behavior – nature is infinitely less empathetic and yet, it will endure. In whatever form.