I’m really into gardening this year. I’m in charge of our backyard and also a plot at the community garden I recently secured. We don’t get full sun in the back which is why I applied for a community garden spot. A 20×20 spot opened up, that’s 400 square feet! And I’m planning on planting loads of tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and zucchini. Full sun loving veggies. In the past few years the tomato yield has been so pitiful, perhaps 5 large tomatoes on 4 plants… Just not enough sun. I’m especially looking forward to tomatoes so that I can process them into sauces and such for fall canning. Woohoo!
The backyard is mostly devoted to root veggies, flowers, onions, garlic, herbs and other random things that are okay with the conditions back there. I spent a lot of time picking out seeds, planning where things will go, and making seedlings. This is the first year I’ve been the one learning about gardening and trying to figure it out, Chris usually does it. We are both super lazy gardeners but this year we’re making a concentrated effort to do better. Instead of just throwing seeds on the ground and hoping for the best, I’m putting effort into it and actually learning what the seeds need to grow. But I really need help with my indoor seedlings! My books haven’t been particularly helpful when it comes to seedling growth.
A friend turned me on to Alys Fowler, a British gardener, author and briefly a tv show host. I love her! She is awesome. She has a major DIY aesthetic and is down to earth and really loves her plants. I’ve got a couple of her books and really enjoy her approach. But for regional specific advice, Steve Solomon is pretty much the god of Pacific Northwest gardening.
The pollen is outrageous right now. I have seasonal allergies and I’ve been waking up dizzy moreso that usual for this time of year, despite allergy meds. Yikes! But it sure is pretty out there.
Well folks, it’s been a doozy of a week. Or year. Take your pick.
It’s Friday night and I’ve put the baby down two hours later than usual, Chris has got the stomach bug I had (it’s like food poisoning, and I thought that’s what I had), the dishes are piled high in the sink, laundry has multiplied and taken over the guest room. I ate salmon lox over the full sink. It’s been a rough one.
The light tonight was so beautiful. It’s been raining heavily and the sky just thinned enough to let in a rose gold light. Peaceful light on the soaked plants, the bricks deep with color and the roads just gathering puddles up. As I was rocking the baby to sleep I watched the shadows on the door. They’re a smudgy thin shadow, high in contrast but soft. Charcoal shadows of spring, not the sharp permanent conte crayon shadows of summer. That light is just giving me a little bit of peace tonight.
It’s been awhile since I posted a poem. Instead I’m posting one of my favorite parts of the bible. No matter what you believe, I think you’ll like it. Love, light and some peace at the end of the day.
1 Corinthians 13
from The Message translation
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Before the baby arrived (neatly, in a blanket and cot beside my bed, with a little stork feather-down resting on his forehead) life passed without a lot of fuss; seasons changed, people were dramatic or not, food was lingered over, projects abounded and remained unfinished in place of newer projects.
Now, not so much. Life is barreling past, bumping on all the rocks, jolting me with a week of sleep deprivation due to teething/crawling/cruising/trying to stand/big changes in a little person. Then a week of pulled back due to throwing the stroller in the trunk with a wrong twist. What next? Oh just a little daylight savings time and mornings starting at 6:00.
The projects are fewer and I work hard to finish them. I want to feel accomplished and creative. I forget that HOLY CRAP this entire past year has been focused on keeping another person alive! That is the ultimate accomplishment. The biggest project. Even when I’m flat on the floor letting this heavy little rug rat use me like a jungle gym and my skull is like “why am I housing a huge brain when you only use .0001% of it?” — I am being productive. I’m not usually so heavy handed with myself, never super motivated to follow through on a project. Or I wasn’t until after the baby. I think it’s to do with wanting to not just be defined by being a mom, pin-holed and stereotyped as a SAHM with a DS. You know?
While I am using that tiny percent of my brain, it’s usually re-thinking my identity. Who am I now? What’s important to me? How do I express what’s important and prioritize it? How do I keep my life filled with creativity and balance my relationships? And sleep… Oh how I would love to just cozy in and sleep without waking for a good 6 to 8 hours.
Anyway just some thoughts. I’m making two baby sweaters (still? did I mention them before?) and one is going just fine. The other, well, I might have to pull it out but I’m saving it for later. No sewing, just no interest there as of now. I am really interested in learning about homeopathy and gardening and urban homesteading. MODERN DAY HIPPY/HIPSTER. Sorry. Just going with the times. I do live in Portland, y’all.