Sometimes old tricks return, seemingly of their own volition. The mind puts on front, suggesting that it never forgets, but it does. Sometimes old tricks are left in dark corners simply because their pleasure faded. And sometimes old tricks return, not by will, but by motion rooted in embodied memory. To once again pick up spade and shears, to don hat and gloves and fold into the joy of memories turning soil.
The joy of a garden is so primal, so simple, yet so profoundly felt. To rejoin my elders in time honoured pleasure is a rediscovery that refreshes my soul. Sanatorium, health-spa, surgery, clinic, call it what you will, it is healing in every way.
And that’s the thing, remembering. Remembering is a strange thing, a rebuilding, putting back together what has been lost though not forgotten. It’s in the word itself. To remember is to re-member, to narratively, even practically, put that past back together in some semblance of knowing. There’s a host of saints in my collection of dearly departed who taught me to garden and impassioned my green spirit. And, as I lift my spade and plunge in rhythmic moves, I fondly recall them one by one in this eden.
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” Socrates
Are you not in the least curious
even a tiny bit?
That there is another way instead
of this long fall into deep forgetfulness
to a prison not made of stone,
imprisoned, within our selves
where the memory of other lives
is eclipsed by the drama
of shame, of wanting, of striving,
over the simplicity of
bread, shirt, and roof,
wherein lies the escape.
Sarah at dVerse has invited us to write about vegetable gardening, using a list of plants provided.
Photo: found on multiple sites.
“Cares melt when you kneel in your garden.” Okakura Kazuko
Once It Begins
Once it begins it begins,
but to begin at all I too must begin,
and so to move towards that which
consumes my energy even before I start,
just to acknowledge the needs of the soil,
to rejuvenate to a friable tilth,
removing winter’s detritus,
the stalks of old and to
boldly plunge in as so often before,
once it begins with spade and hoe,
stakes and twine, bags and jars,
it gathers pace and the vision grows,
worlds erupt and the magic flows,
plans expand beyond the Nile
for a harvest of harvests,
of crucifers and kales,
tubers and climbers,
the table bowed,
as kitchen rejoices
in purple swords,
czar, blue fire,
and aurora too,
knife and fork,
the juices flow,
once it begins.