Thursday, March 01, 2007


FINDING MY MARBLES


The first scent of Spring, that blended earth-perfume so pleasantly borne on a chill wind, of imminent buddings and primal seed-stirrings, always wistfully reminds me that it's time to get out my marbles and dig a hole in the ground. Correlatively it reminds me that I lost my marbles years ago-- but anyway each Spring I get to recall them with fondness.

As a marble substitute I get out the tools and start prepping the earth of my garden, in good time venturing to the farm store to buy some seeds of whatever monkeys hate, which is an odd way to plan one's garden, but in Japan means lots of exotic greens, and anyway adaptability is an indication that marbles of some kind are still operative. This year it will be a couple kinds of spinach, radishes, various of those greens, hot peppers and herbs.

I'm doing it this way because I just can't (yet) get myself to put up a stalag out there around my vegetables, but one day I'll have to, if I want to grow tomatoes, carrots, onions, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers watermelons—well, whatever I'm not growing this year, and didn't grow last year. But as I dig and plant, I am as always rewarded. Surrounded by that heady scent, I realize that I haven't lost my marbles at all, they were just one bright talisman in the steady parade of delights that is a growing life, an early excuse to dig in the constant earth and learn where beauty can always be found.

5 comments:

Living in Tokyo 2007 said...

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Trace said...

I so love the way you write, Robert. You're making me want to start my garden now.

My husband is a slow starter of projects. He drives me nutty and I lose my own marbles from time to time just trying to get things done.

I suppose I will take the initiative once again. There is nothing more calming to the soul, than playing in the dirt constructively through planting and sewing seed. Happy spring!

Winston said...

Beautifully writ, as always. You sent me on a brief trip back to being 11 or 12. A canvas bag of marbles. My favorite steelie and a special cat eye, dusty playground, the bully with the giant shooter who would cheat and then whip anyone who protested.

My entire life in those days was focused on getting a leather pouch like Johnny had. We were poor, so it just wasn't to be. I used that canvas bag, one that I think my grandpa's chewing tobacco had come in, until it ruptured. That's when I lost my marbles...

Note to self: Check on connection between losing one's little round glass marbles and going off one's rocker...

mary lou said...

Why dont you plant something the monkeys really LOVE, far away from what you WANT to keep. a diversion so to speak, or find a good recipe for stuffed Monkey! ;)

Anna said...

You are such a stoic. I've given up planting anything that's on the deer menu, which means just about everything edible. This year I have flattened the four raised vegetable beds ready for grass. I know when I'm beaten.