Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Good Earth

I often find it ironic that we bought a house to own a piece of land. My husband and I are not landscapers. Nor are we gardeners. Nor are we the type to pay someone to be landscapers or gardeners on our behalf.

We sometimes throw a blanket on top of our grass / moss / weed and enjoy a summer picnic. Sometimes we play a short game of soccer or mini golf or badminton. Once a year we pitch the tent and try to sleep with the ever present sounds of the urban forest in the background. But mostly we have a bit of land to hold the house and support the trees.

My point? We are horrific landowners, barely managing to keep our yard from retreating back into the infamous Canadian wilderness of poetic lore - despite many polite and welcome attempts by family and neighbours to help us out (your gifts of flowers and dirt and herbs are always welcome).

But last night.....ahhhh, last night, we were not just landowners, we were passionate farmers in love with the rich soil in our possession. We felt the dirt, moved the dirt, tasted the dirt.

We also butchered the weeds, tamed the surviving few blades of spring grass with our mighty push-mower, and chartered new territory in the herb garden we abandoned five years ago. We grabbed firmly onto our shovels and dug deep into the depths of our compost, where brown organic egg shells dappled new soil the colour of deepest Africa and contraband Cuban cigars.

We planted plants we forgot to plant last year. And the year before.

We rescued our rhubarb stalks and blueberry bushes from the barbarians at the gate. Damn those weeds.

We became one with worms, spiders, wood bugs, beetles, and millions of microorganisms that I thankfully couldn't see.

And then, light fading fast to almost dark, the rewards of working the good earth - dirty fingernails, muddy boots, sweaty backs, and that feeling that you are part of something a bit bigger. Something a bit more primal. Something to celebrate with a nice glass of Pinot Noir. Or two.

It was a good night for getting grounded.

1 comment:

Mika Ryan said...

I think there has to be a middle ground, I never understood the idea of raking leaves and putting them in plastic bags, isn't the idea that they decay and go back to the earth? I personally like full, over grown gardens.....lush, sensual and beautiful....without the garden gnomes.