Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back to Writing

Much has happened in the garden since my last entry, and I'm back at the keyboard now to chronicle it. Sometimes, when you're working at keeping everything going, it's hard to sit down and reflect on it. The summer has been hot and dry, and I've spent many an hour out there with the hose, giving the soil a good soak. On occasion, I've watered twice a day, wilting a little myself under the pitiless sun. Then, too, there have been the squadrons of insects that have evolved with my garden plants, the better to attack them. The battle with the squash vine borers sapped my energy and strained my emotions.

(Unless you've had a vendetta with garden pests yourself, you might find it hard to understand the kind of outrage that an uncomprehending, otherwise benign life form may cause in its human adversary. One of my friends went so far as to protest, "But it's a higher life form than the plant." Rationally, I must acknowledge that this is so. But in gardening, a primitive kind of emotion takes over that is beyond rational thinking, and which must go back to the days when humans first domesticated crops and began to depend on them for their very survival. It's me against them; their desire to exist against my hunger and hard work; and I cannot let them win.)

Now it is harvest time, or near enough to it to expect that certain crops will be successful, and to bring in a few fully ripe fruits. I have pulled out most of the cantaloupe vines already. The cucumbers, too, are finished, and I have planted cool-weather crops in their place. The hose is idle for longer periods. I have some breathing space, some more room in my mind to categorize everything and recall some of the rich detail about the summer's work. In the coming days, I will write out the entries I have been filing away in my head, and you, the reader, will be able to fill in some of the gaps in the story of the summer, so full of the buzzing of insects and the stealthy, occasionally shocking growth of vines and bushes and roots.

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