Monday, January 9, 2012

Gardening for Zen or Gardening Hen

I used to garden for Zen.
I would collect flowery gardening gloves, choose a sunny weekend morning and take a hand trowel and sit out on my lawn in front of a flower garden and just pick weeds.  I would breathe in the fresh air and carefully and meticulously tend my crops. I found peace and tranquility in filling watering can after watering can from my rain barrel and making countless trips back and forth to the garden, quenching the thirst of my lettuces, my beans, my corn. I walked deliberately and slowly in a meditative sort of way. I took the time to chat with my neighbours. I took the time to smell the roses, so to speak.

Now I'm a Gardening Hen. I have chicks. I have one who loves to dig in the dirt. I have another who, come spring, will be a fast-crawling, or tentative toddling, mud-ingesting, rock sucking, bug squashing, thorn-inspecting terror. I will have to weed quickly and sporadically with one eye always on her to make sure she's not trying to climb the rose trellis. Who am I kidding? Gardening Hens don't weed!  We wait for an opening, like a 30 minute nap, and we race outside in flip flops and we scrape a hurried trench in the soil with any stick we can find and then we toss our seeds in and pray. We don't have time to stop and smell anything! We still chat with our neighbours, but the conversation is punctuated by hollers of, "Don't you DARE put that in your mouth!" or "Keep your backhoe out of my broccoli, honey." And we'd like to use the rain barrel to water our crops, but sometimes we hardly have the time to unwind the gardening hose before we fall into bed exhausted at night.

This gardening hen, though, is happy her chicks are growing up in her gardening world.  Even if it means that last spring, she waddled around with an infant in a baby bjorn attached to her tummy while she tried to find gardening tasks the required little bending over. It means that these chicks will know that peas grow on a vine, not in a bag. They'll know that dirty carrots are good, honest carrots because all carrots have to get a little bit dirty at some point or another.  And hopefully they'll appreciate the patience it takes to wait for all the great things in life that take a little time, effort and sunshine.

Miss Greenish Thumb

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