Sunday, September 07, 2008


THOUGHTS OF A ONE-ARMED GARDENER


For a few days now I’ve been working at last on planting the garden, carefully avoiding the girls' ceremonial arrangements, scattered here and there at key spiritual locations on the new soil. The task had been at the top of my list for while now, indeed it was in back there somewhere, high on tomorrow’s schedule, when I hit the pole (anyway it torrented rain for the next three days) but because of the accident there was no way I could wield a shovel, hoe, rake etc., without rolling on the ground every few seconds, so I forbore. I’ve been typing with the same arms but not so successfully. If th re re ny l tters missing, bl me my l ft h nd, it misses now nd gain. I left that last exemplary sentence uncorrected by my right hand, just to show you what one-armed gardening must be like.

Anyway, one can only hold off for so long, gardens have a kind of gravity of their own that has quite a pull, especially new gardens, even moreso at planting times, like now, for onions and potatoes. (Forget about onions though, till I get the poles and monkey netting.) So I started on Wednesday, ignoring my manual deficiency, grimacing in the garden with a fully operative right arm and a left arm like a toddler following along wanting to help; I managed, with twice as much effort and time, to get half the work done, but at least it was something. Also more satisfying than sitting around saying Ow. Indeed, my left arm seemed to benefit from its moderate agony, because yesterday I had an arm and a third, and today an arm and a half; soon my left arm will return to the world and can be taken out in formal company without the gnashing of teeth.

I realized as I was working today - while carefully avoiding the girls' ceremonial arrangements, scattered here and there along key spiritual meridians in the garden - that what they had been doing that evening could just as easily be seen as a garden-dedication ceremony, what with the virgin soil and the magic gate and the creation of things, the reaching into the ground for life etc., so that’s the way I’ve come to see it as I plant, that the girls had been generalizing in a spiritual way, as they must, new beings that they are, but that as an older, more experienced and commensurately (one hopes) wiser member of the family, I could see that the trio were reaching for deeper stuff in the depths of their brand new lives, to dedicate this new soil to fertility, and that is why I was so moved to get out there a few days ago even as a one-armed man, planting potatoes and garlic under netting.

Then yesterday with my renewing left arm I prepared another bed and today planted more potatoes therein, plus good patches of spinach and rainbow chard, and it feels so good to garden in a garden that has been dug and prepared as a garden, soft soil a long way down, with the rocks taken away and the bamboo rooted out, all filled with grace and made sacred by three little goddesses only a few weeks ago…

I’ll bet what comes up tastes like heaven.


4 comments:

tracy said...

Truely does sound wonderful; and will all taste much better because the three little goddesses hand a and in it!!

tracy said...

Uuuum...."had a hand in it." I really have no idea what happened there. I honestly didn't do that on purpose. Strange, isn't it, that the typo would happen that way after your example of one armed gardening? Could also just be because it's only 4:26am...

Mary Lou said...

AWWWW how sweet!! THey blessed the garden and made it Monkey proof! ;)

Bob Brady said...

I think monkey proofing would require another type of ceremony, but the goddesses are no longer visiting; I'll have to put up a conventional fence until their return.