Monday, January 14, 2013

I have a dirty little confession

About seven years ago Frank assumed an important responsibility. He took over the family garden.
And shortly thereafter, discovered that his true love was horticulture.
As winter progresses, the seed catalogs arrive. I try not to be jealous of these tomes filled with alluring tomatoes.
Yet I know that all summer, they may see more of Frank than I will. So I watch and wait as slowly...

my beloved drifts into a horticultural haze.

I have no doubt that gardening is therapeutic. Especially when you live in a cold climate where winter is long and dreary. Frigid visions of natures bounty help many make it through to spring.

A friend in Lewistown is fighting cancer. He has a large basement hydroponic garden that yields fresh lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, all winter long.
His therapy is to
commune with nature while battling it.

My son"C", eldest daughter "E", and her family live in southern Michigan. Each year they plant a large garden. Winters are spent learning ways to maximize productivity, minimize weeds! Summer's harvest is fresh air, sunshine, and organic bounty.
Nothing could be better!

For most of my life I did not consider myself a "plant person". Initially I assumed that my allotment of DNA did not have any green in it. That was not a problem until I purchased my first home. 
I tried, really I tried. Every weekend was spent puttering around my plot.
But for some odd reason... 
I do NOT like dirt.

Then came a revelation.

While pouring over 
a family album, I discovered 
a series of odd images.

There I was, a tiny tot.
Dressed to the nines.
Poised upon a pristine 
swath of white.
Cautiously reaching over 
the sand box edge.
Dipping my silver spoon 
into granular strata.

Photo after photo of me 
isolated from nature.

So, I queried Ethel 
as to why I wasn't 
frolicking in the dust. 
Hence came the reason for 
my horticultural hesitation.

"I never allowed you to sit on the ground,  
 you could have gotten worms".

While shocking, it made sense.
Subsequently for years I battled my Freudian flora phobia.
Finally, the summer of my divorce, I overcame my terror of terra firma.
Isolated from my kids and comfort zone, I needed to fill the gap.

Behind my home in rural Michigan was a hedged oval garden. For years it's random perennials had been choked by disregard. All they needed was love. There, in the privacy of my green oasis, I became a carefree wood nymph. I discovered...
jardinage dans le nu!

Yes friends, for many years I gardened barefoot and naked in Michigan. I certainly do not recommend this for everybody. But somehow I found the warm sun on my back and moist soil under my feet comforting.  At that time of my life, naturalistic nudity helped me dig deep back into my primordial soul and reconnect with nature.

There's a reason for everything buried deep within us.
And while it may be hidden beneath the surface,
it needs to be nurtured so that we can understand it.

"And the day came 
 when the risk to remain tight in a bud 
 was more painful 
 than the risk it took to blossom."  Anais Nin