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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Heartbreak in the Garden

Yes, emotions are the meat of the human experience, but still,  so many of them are unpleasant! Sorrow and grief certainly suck. Jealousy, anger, fear, dread, shame... 
And as if sloshing through the mandatory emotional stew isn't enough, there are those days of extra helpings. It could be blood sugar level, PMS, jet lag, the result of a sleepless night... and BAM! Suddenly feelings are dialed up to super-hyper-excruciating. Everything seems unbearably poignant, unutterably sad, overwhelmingly touching.  
I’d been out of town for a week. (long story) So this morning, I took my coffee into the sunshine, to survey the empire, and see how all fared in my absence.  
Someone had shred toilet paper in the azaleas. It had to be either my husband or my dog since they were the only ones uncaged. And neither of them had watered.  But in spite of the abuse and neglect, my carrot patch had flourished.  In fact, it had grown so crowded it needed to be thinned.
I’ve never had luck transplanting carrots. Instead of re-rooting they'd always faint and wither.  Thinning therefore means putting some plants to death so the ones around them can grow.  
You see where this is going.
Luckily, I have a bunny and a Guinea pig who are happy to eat the delicate tops and tiny pale pre-carrots, so it isn’t exactly a waste. 

But still, how do I pick? Just reach in blindly and pull? Comb through looking for the smallest?

I choked up over the jumble of hopeful green -- the magic combo of water, sunlight, and dirt, growing exactly where I'd once cavalierly scattered their seeds.   

The arbitrariness of life and death was suddenly breath taking. 
The inequality of power between myself -- large, and mammalian and determined -- and the baby carrot plants --  innocent and entirely defenseless.  

Wally Dog watched me get weepy and offered to shred another roll of toilet paper to snap me back to the business at hand.
Thank goodness for dogness.   

P.S. Dear Dears, Three months have passed & it is now time to harvesrt those un-thinned carrots. They are a bit motley, some knobby & misshapen, some teenie-tiny, but there are lts of them & they are all sweet. No regrets. 


The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

Maybe Wally Dog was framed for the Toilet Paper job by the other uncaged mammal.
Animal Noir

Amy Goldman Koss said...

A distinct possibility.

Betty Birney said...

Yes, Amy ... you're making an accusation based on totally circumstantial evidence. You need to go for DNA.

Thanks for a poignant reflection on the arbitrariness of life. I'll bet Wally NEVER thinks about those things! Go shred toilet paper and have some fun.

Amy Goldman Koss said...

Yep, Betty.
Reminder to self: Go for the dogness!

Susan Patron said...

Thank you for this, Amy. I love how you split the last word in two when you wrote, "The arbitrariness of life and death was suddenly breath taking."
Not breathtaking, as in something beautiful that causes awe, but actually a thought that makes one stop breathing.