Monday, February 21, 2011


This morning was nice and sunny so I spent some early time in the garden checking on the beans I planted in the autumn, staked with a bamboo lattice and covered with broad netting and fine mesh to protect them from the snow, thereby rendering them inaccessible and largely invisible.

I lifted off those layers and exposed the graphic reality of beanstalks and dirt left on their own for 3 months, saw that succulent weeds had sidled in from the cold to enjoy the warm serenity of beanworld, and that the beanstalks and the weeds had become good friends, the stalks rejecting my inviting bamboo framework in favor of base groveling, wrapping their tendrils around feckless weedery in the lowest form of companionship, the kind mothers warn their young teens about.

In order to free the beanstalks from their iniquity, that they might better to pursue the natural instincts of their breeding and reach the full bean potential that is their birthright, I had to break up these earthy relationships, and as I went along I saw in every instance - every instance, as though it were a completely natural thing - which I suppose, looking back on my own life, it is - that the beanstalks had preferred tendrilizing with the weeds, not in a single instance grabbing onto the convenient bamboo, over which in some cases the beanstalks had even grown downward to reach the weeds!

There beside them was offered a bamboo structure that would lift them to levels of which they were capable; that would elevate them to greater, sunnier, more productive heights, yet instead they leaned heavily toward their baser instincts, bent to the bottom of their world, acted against their own benefit and potentially toward their own detriment; that’s one of the problems with new youth, even of the beany kind.

There is a lesson here - if I may be so didactic, and having been so thus far, I will - one which I could have followed better myself, had I in my earlier life been even slightly more aware of the benefits of the metaphorically speaking bamboo framework that had been prepared for the beanstalk I was; on the other hand, however, there is something to be said for the weeds, the heady benefit of that lower perspective, that sense of implacability you take with you when at last you unbend and strive upward-- it makes you tougher, makes you more patient, renders you less needful of hope and more in possession of grit. So go low, beans, go low if you must, but don’t stay there too far into Spring; and above all, do not abide the weedy path...

To add weight to my inner words I disassembled the whole bamboo framework, expelled the weeds and from the overpoles suspended lengths of rough gardening twine about a foot apart, hanging down helpfully among all the suddenly weedless beanstalks looking around like new graduates of Legume U.

The world awaits you all, my beans; tomorrow is yours!


pserean said...

Unless, of course, your little friends say- 'bean there, done that, weed other plans anyways....'

I know, I know... can't resist these horrible puns.
dreadful disease :{

Robert Brady said...

Good puns thrive in the rich humus of extended metaphor... A blue ribbon for you!

Richard said...

Ha! Beautiful.

Nel said...

The blog is very good!