October 31, 2015. On this day given to disguises, what better counter to the madness than an ode to something utterly genuine – needs no mask – offers treats with no subtle insinuation of tricks. I’ll take an hour in the garden with the chard over any amount of time with faux goblins, thank you.
This is another ode prompted by the class I’ve been taking. Enjoy!
July 22, 2015. My partner and I have just completed a walkway that keeps reminding me of a poem I wrote back in 2011 when I was working on a similar walkway, using his favorite hoe to slice into the hard-packed ground and create a recess that could be filled with decomposed granite and limestone slabs. This poem was first published in the anthology di-verse-city 2012, © Austin Poets International, Inc.
The diamond hoe, a marvelous tool for weeding, was relatively new to us in 2011. It was his hoe, his constant companion in the yard, and I was reluctant to use it for fear I’d chip a point. He assured me it was the right tool for the job at hand (he was right) – and using it proved eye-opening in unexpected ways.
The image is a collage of the trusty hoe (unchipped through the digging of much rocky terrain) and the new walkway. Stepping on the walkway, I am mindful of his skill at placing the stones, our joint endurance at digging, hauling, and then filling without cross words. The work was hard. The walkway is a beautiful tribute to our togetherness, and it seems fitting to honor the hoe a second time around.
July 9, 2015. I’m taking an online photography class (led by photographer Jan Phillips – an offering through SpiritualityAndPractice.com). Yesterday’s practice was to notice and photograph “signs” that suggest how to live. A few hours after reading the assignment, I was in the front yard dead-heading the coneflower patch, mindful mostly of snipping just above leaf junctions. The intent behind dead-heading is to promote new blooms. But I stopped abruptly when my eyes landed on one flower. I ran for the camera. My “sign” was left to expire in her own due grace and time … and she lives on through the image below.
May 24, 2015. Last Spring, I overhauled my extensive bed of crinum lilies. The project involved digging up enormous bulbs, then digging the entire area down six inches, then refilling with decomposed granite. A team of three strong men accomplished that in two days — and left me to the creative placement of planter holes, replanting about one fourth of the bulbs, and finding homes for the remainder. A labor of love, and hope for thriving of all transplants (spread to just about everyone I knew and a dozen or so responders to FreeCycle).
Image #1 was taken today — this year’s first blooms. Thrill to see them! They’ll be pinking up the front yard until our first freeze.
Image #2 — my “blank slate” — goes with the poem, written when the work crew drove off and I dug in.