Sunday, January 28, 2007

10/26/06: Life from the Ruins

When we came home from our long, exhausting, wonderful road trip, it took me a day or two to get up the strength to go out and water my garden. And I was HORRIFIED. The guys running the electric lines across our yard to Keith's shop-under-construction had apparently hit a water line with the backhoe -- and then dug around fruitlessly in half a dozen areas, trying to find the underground turnoff. As a result of their efforts, my back garden is in ruins. Two lovely lavenders are browned and dead, apparently after meeting up with the backhoe. One of my thigh-high rosemary bushes has disappeared, along with all the lovely annuals that had curled up in front of its greenery. Sweet Williams -- gone! Pincushion flowers -- outta here! The new primroses that I planted just before leaving are a sorry, soggy sight, and the pine needles I used for mulch have been upturned, exposing the habitation of various insect colonies in the bare dirt. California poppies have disappeared, and I found a hoe carelessly thrown into a flower bed by the back door, smashing down greenery under its weight. I sobbed as I wafted the water from the hose over the remains of what had been a pleasing area of garden.

Keith says to "just replant it," as if replanting is no big deal. But when my strength levels rarely take me beyond the simple act of watering these flowers, replanting seems like a Herculean task. I usually buy flowers one six-pack or a few four-inch pots at a time so I won't overtax myself in planting. It's taken five years of working when I have felt able to get this pretty little area looking like it was sprung from a cottage garden in the Cotswolds, and it's gone -- poof! -- just like that.

But it's been several weeks now since my discovery of the disaster, and most of my grieving is done. I'll wait for spring to come, with all its promise of hope and renewal, to slowly buy a few flowers at a time and rebuild my little piece of paradise.

Gardening is where I can dig my fingers deeply into the things of God, where I can reach out and touch Him through His Creation, where I can feel unjudged and free. So I have the re-creation of my little world after its destruction to look forward to, as well as the excuse to spend much more money than I usually do on my spring plantings next April. Nothing will bring back my mature rosemary and lavender plants, but choosing new ones will be a joy as well.

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