Sunday, April 22, 2012

All weekend I dug in the garden and sawed and clipped and transplanted and pulled weeds and cursed morning glory, called it by its more appropriate name bindweed. The Chehalis apple tree is blooming and it's a considerable bit of heaven, just outside my kitchen door. Out the front door the clematis blooms pale pink and I think that maybe some bushtits or wrens are building a nest in the tangle just under the eaves — time will tell. Cats attend to my tending, Kitty Boy from across the street or Oliver from who knows exactly where these days, he might be calling my house his home. Flip and Lucy, mine, patrol the deck and pretend to be fierce but we all know that they're not. I can hear neighbor children pounding drums and laughing. Someone has grilled meat three nights in a row — I want a bite.

This benediction with the earth keeps me steady in a week where foundations have been cracked and sundered. My sister L. has lymphoma, and is still in the discovery stage, on heavy-dose pain-killers that render her a bit loopy. I visited her Friday night, and left feeling helpless, mortal.

(My own health is well. Thankfully.)

There have been lots of phone calls and text messages, one from my younger sister K., who wrote, I always thought that you, L., and I would live together when we're old. I texted back we will.

Damn it.

I hate this.

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I planted sunflowers in little starter pots, and gave the wintered-over geraniums new soil and a tincture for health and vitality. I moved mint, ripped ivy, trimmed violas.

The nursery man at Holly Park Greenhouse said that he might have heliotrope this year (I count on him for this) and maybe cosmos — sales have declined, and only the oldsters (I'm assuming he included me in this category) ask for them. We'll see. I've been shopping there for 25 years — it's time I asked him his name.

Everything grows — tumors and parsley and collards and, if I'm lucky, heliotrope.

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On another note, my son left for work today when I was working in the garden, and he locked me out. Oy. ("Oy" is my current favorite new word.) A back window was unlocked (bad in general, good for me) and I climbed through it onto a winter's accumulation of plastic sacks and assorted cast-off debris. Landed, balanced, got on with the business of being alive.


11 comments:

  1. Gardening is good for whatever ails you, if only temporarily. Helps keep you sane. And of course the life all around: the cats, the drums, the kids. Such a damned shame about your sister - my heart aches for you all.

    The healing arts: gardening, baking, cooking, entertaining friends. This will sustain you.

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  3. My Clematis are just coming into flower too. I have Nelly Moser and Montana; the two standard goodies. I agree with Tara, gardening is good for the soul (when you can get out there).

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  4. Despite the sorrow, I loved this post. It seemed to have everything that has to do with life as it moves along. I am sending healing thoughts to you and your sisters, that you grow old together.

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  5. I feel for you T. Yes, touch the earth, keep moving forward. What else can we do?

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  6. Oy. And yikes. And they fit so many occasions. Heliotrope, even the word has a timeless grace.

    I am sorry that you and your sisters are in this uncertain place. I am very glad that you have each other and well-established ways of being in the world that celebrate things as small as seeds. Angella's posted poem of wishing one had more sisters was so affecting. I tried to get here sooner to let you know I was thinking of you. xo

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  7. All my best wishes to you and L.

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  8. Heartfelt thanks to every one of you dear blogger friends.

    xo

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  9. I am sorry about your sister's struggle but I know your family will spin a web of live and healing around her. I ache for her children too. So hard, this.

    And yet a beautiful post. Bless.

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  11. All the best to you--I can only imagine what a difficult time this must be.

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