Gardening

The Way of the Universe 

Five zucchini plants, trying their darnedest to survive the heat and flower.

One day last week, as the sweat rolled down into my eyes as I was trying to count the remaining sweet corn in the latest row I was weeding, I sat up exasperated. There were two. There were two surviving corn plants in a row of twelve. TWO.

I looked around me at the very black soil and sighed. Of the five rows of sweet corn, only about a dozen ears had germinated and were growing. 

This is seriously the view of the garden….sometimes parts are slightly more clear, but usually one side gets completely blanketed in weeds in about three days.

There is a terribly poignant moment in the unlikely great sequel movie, “Evan Almighty.” Loreli Gilmore….ah…ahem…I mean Lauren Graham…is sitting in a typical American eatery speaking to Morgan Freeman, aka God. Graham’s character is married to Evan, a congressmen who hears a message from God to build an ark. (A little 21st century Noah story as it were). She laments to Freeman about how she prayed for her family to spent more time together, but her husband has gone off his rocker building a giant ark. Freeman deftly responds, “If one prays for patience, does God grant them patience or give them the opportunity to learn patience…” He goes on to elaborate about God not granting courage, but giving a person the opportunity to be courageous. God not granting warm and fuzzy feelings for family, but giving a family the opportunity to really love, support and accept each other.
This is one of the most brilliant, philosophical conversations in cinematic history. And it has stuck with me as a universal truth about the way the world often seems to work.

Apparently, I’ve been dealt a hand by the ubiquitous Morgan Freeman as God.

I’ve found myself given the opportunity to be positive (something I’ve been trying to focus on)…thanks to finding myself in many, many, many negative situations. The worst of the negativity being the garden.

Y’all I give up.

Some days, I have weeded a row and the next morning the whole row would be covered in two inch weed growth.

This was where the vine plants were planted. I weeded and put down Preen (corn gluten) last week on this side. Suffice to say, it didn’t work.

It’s been over 90 degrees with extremely high humidity for the past two weeks and the mosquitos have been eating me alive as I sweat through my overalls and woolen socks while attempting in vain to weed before 7am in the morning.

I’ve lost all my peppers, all the broccoli, all but four pea plants. All the squash (oddly enough-the zucchini is still hanging in there), pumpkins, watermelon. There are no onions and I’m still not sure if any of the carrot seeds germinated. I’ve lost the starter asparagus, the golden raspeberry cane, and half of one of the wild raspberry patches. There has been no growth on the blackberry cane, but after having to transplant it, I have my doubts that it is still living.

This is where my peppers were growing for a time, the Preen worked a little better on this patch, but as you can see, no peppers.

This is not pessimism. This is pragmatism.

There are many good things, many positive things in my life outside of he garden. But the positive aspects of the garden are only two fold.

The mulberry crop this year is going to be epic and likely ready as early as next week. And my potatoes are thriving.

One of the successes-ten healthy and flourishing potato plants. How very Irish of me….

But I’m over it. Every day I walk out to the garden to water or weed, I just sigh. There are so many other things I would rather be doing then trying to salvage the life of those four green bean plants.

Hey look! Four out of twenty peas survived. WTH is going on this year? I’ve never had so much vegetable death.

I joked to a fellow gardener that I’ve considered lighting the whole thing up in flames, imagine myself cackling as I watch the weeds burn and die.

The lonely blackberry cane…all dried out and being a stick in the dirt.

That is, if I could even cackle. The weather and humidity have been affecting my asthma (as well as the amount of time around the very weeds that exacerbate my asthma), causing me to need to increase my inhaled corticosteroids. One of the side effects of these prescriptions is a sore throat and laryngitis. Something no Music Therapist or teacher ever wants to deal with.

I need the medication to be able to breathe and to stop an allergy related sore throat. And the meds give me a sore throat.

Vicious cycle, as they say.

So, I’m done.

Because maybe my desire for positivity means I should let go of the things that are creating excess negativity on my life.
So this year we’ll have mulberries and potatoes and maybe even a handful of peas and green beans and sweet corn. And I don’t care about any of the rest of it.

This is a neighbor’s small, but much healthier garden. Tomatoes, strawberries, onions, peppers….not a weed in sight.

Because I’d rather hang out with my best bud Gus and be able to speak to my husband without my throat screaming at me in rage and making me cranky. 

Thanks Morgan Freeman. 

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