weeding tagged posts

The Old Dead Shit of a Late Spring Garden

I know I’m not the first person to realize that gardening is the world’s most ubiquitous and consistent metaphor factory. Prepare the soil, plant a bulb, weed and water a patch of dirt, then have at it on matters regarding one’s place in the world and desire to do right by it.

Where else this side of church is one allowed to stand naked (metaphor there, too…) before the creation while pondering its meaning and relevance to one’s life?

So on yesterday’s late, late spring day, a certain correspondent of yours found himself deep into mounds of decaying poppies and grasses in his backyard, exclaiming to no one in particular: “Gosh, there’s a lot of old dead shit in there!”

And fall was nowhere in sight, smell or sound.

It turns out this is one of gardening’s boundless number of secrets: that death, and the need to move its remnants out of the way, is pretty much a four-season proposition...

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Weeding the Poppy Patch

If I were inclined to believe in God as a helpful, sky-residing fellow lording it over us all from his perch in the heavens, I would present him with three words of challenge by which he might explain himself and his creation: fleas, mosquitos, and the (damn) weeds that repopulate my poppy patch with unremitting, increasing fecundity every year. Of the three, this last one is the matter that most occupies my thoughts every April, as spring and its weeds kick into high gear.

Let me be clear: I bow deeply to the wonder of the earth’s regeneration. The exultation, reverence and passions unleashed by spring? Count me among their staunchest friends. (If spring were on Facebook, I’d be posting like mad on its wall this time of year.)

But weeds? And the back-aching, muscle-tensing work required to clear them in order for another of God’s masterpieces—the perfectly developed California poppy—to pop unbidden th...

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