I freely admit it. Maybe that takes me down
a few notches on the coolness scale.
But the truth is that gardening has become
a deeply held passion for me.
What was summertime without a garden?
All winter long, I thought about our future summer garden:
What would we plant? How would I parcel it?
What would grow in Wyoming?
I tilled the garden, mixed in fertilizer and peat moss,
and waited for the magical date of May 15th,
which was to be the last frost for this latitude.
We planted; we watered; we waited.
Nothing sprouted for weeks.
And then--great tragedy!
Thousands upon thousands of weeds began poking out of the soil.
My fertilizer must have been contaminated. Despair!
Feverishly, I plucked and plucked,
but the next day there would be twice as many new weed sprouts.
It seemed impossible to eradicate the intruders.
I had a very real creepy-crawly sensation,
like I was vicariously covered with cooties.
But then my green beans pushed their green heads
through the crumbly soil.
Next came the carrots and onions,
then the zucchini, the cantaloupe, and the sunflowers.
Finally, the broccoli and the watermelon emerged.
The tomatoes and pepper sprouts began to flourish.
I reformulated my weeding strategy.
I couldn't kill the weeds in their infancy--
there were too many and they grew too quickly.
Instead, I would allow the weeds and the veggies to grow up together,
and then as the weeds matured
they would be easier to distinguish and pluck.
It was a downright biblical plan.
A few weeks went by,
and finally it was time to separate the wheat from the tares.
I spent several hours on several nights pulling thousands of weeds and filling dozens of buckets.
It was sweaty, grimy work--but it was intensely satisfying,
like a purging of poison from the body.
The garden seemed to breath freely
with the eviction of the strangulating weeds,
and within days it seemed to double in size.
Its canopy of shade and expanding root system asserted itself,
preventing the weeds from re-establishing.
and we are dining nightly on its fruits.
We have succulent greenbeans, gargantuan zucchini,
ripening cantaloupe, bright orange carrots,
pendulous tomatoes, and burgeoning broccoli.
Not to mention a mammoth, twelve-foot tall sunflower!
Watering the garden every evening has become a top priority and a meditative ritual. I shower the garden, I breathe in its humid airs,
soaking in its vitality, its productivity, its earthen, organic vibrance.
I garden, therefore I am.