obsessed and, egad, a tad bit compulsive
confession: the scatterings up above–plastic shoes, rubber gloves, old tin bucket and watering can, satchel for twine, trowel, assorted whatchamabobs–they are the first things i pick up in the morn, the last things i drop after dark.
i am, for not the first time in my little old life, a woman obsessed. and when no one’s looking, i might tend toward the must-snatch-that-deal-on-perennials-even-if-it’s-10-miles-away, must-water-the-wilted-now, egad, why-sleep-when-there’s-baby-fleurs-that-need-to-be-tucked-in-the-dirt.
so what if my knee swells and throbs, and my spine scolds me to sit down and haul out the ice pack.
i tell you, people, there are worse things than spending your day (and a part of the night–if the whole truth must be told here) with your wrists buried in mud.
i am fully, completely stricken. i am forgetting to make dinner for my children. i am the last one out of the garden center, finding my wagon by the light of the moon. i am up with the birds, headed out to shuffle around, for the third time this week, the cone flowers and the black-eyed susans. and i couldn’t sleep one wink the night i lay there worrying if the japanese beetles were out in the beds making batches and batches of babies.
ah, but i’ve not dialed for help of the emotional kind. i’ve not even tried to pretend that i’m behaving remotely normally.
oh, no. i am old enough and plenty used to myself and my, er, criss-crossed wirings. so much so that i can, mostly, slap that ol’ swollen knee and get a good guffaw outa myself. at myself, actually.
now, there’ve been times in my life, whole years and years in fact, when i woulda run for the hills should anyone point anywhere in my vicinity with those two old adjectives that loosely defined might suggest “gone overboard,” as in, she has…
obsessed? i shrieked, mais non! i dared to protest if anyone whispered the name of its cousin; you know, the c word, and i am not talking vulgar, merely compulsive.
ah, but that was then, and now i am a wild-haired garden chick who finds the earth my holy balm. it soothes me in these july days of much uncertainty and angst elsewhere in my life.
i am, i think, staking out my claim on my eensy-weensy corner of the planet. i am keeping the big bad world at bay, zeroing in on the few fine friends i find lurking in my yard.
i am making sure a climbing vine gets all the drink it needs to reach toward the sunshine and the clouds. i am sighing with delight as i watch the fairy rose ramble over to where the russian sage is stretching out her lanky arms, her sleeves awash in periwinkle ruffles.
i let the birdsong seep deep down in my soul. i revel in the knowing that she’s so used to me, she doesn’t even mind settling on the branch just inches from my head.
there is a sacred pact in the garden. the citizens of the earth and sky are at peace with those who keep their place in order.
and so, right here in the thick of summer’s bloom, i can think of nowhere i’d rather be, and nothing i’d rather be doing than finding my religion where the hydrangea nod their heavy heads and the black-eyed susans wink at me.
go ahead, laugh at me, trudging up to bed in my mud-caked plastic shoes.
but know that, achy bones be damned, my dreams are sweet and, like my climbing vine, inching toward the heavens.
are you, like me, obsessed? with any thing? is there some pursuit that so fills your soul you could do it every day and every night, round the clock if you had such steam in your pufferbelly? have you, after years and years, come to love the softspots in your soul or psyche? stopped trying to change the odd ways you are? or do you simply like the smell of dirt, and love to dig in your garden?