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Finding My Marbles

Something so therapeutic about gardening — for me, that means digging in the dirt, specifically, today — that I can’t even put it into words. Every year, there’s a small improvement to the process. This year, I discovered that if I wear my headphones, I am completely and fully immersed in my own world. It just rounds out the experience for me. Last year, my mother guessed that people garden because they are looking to get away from everything else just for a little while. I suspected she may be right because I found myself frequently annoyed when I was interrupted by someone passing by, looking to talk about what I was doing. It’s like talking about sex while you’re having sex. There’s simply something better to be doing at the moment than talking about it. Although there are exceptions … but, I digress. This newest addition of headphones has me very happy. It allows for the full immersion/meditation in the experience. With headphones, I do not feel the obligation to listen for someone talking to me. It’s an excuse, yes, but a very good one. I think that sometimes we disconnect too much from the experience of being wherever we’re being, but gardening is different than walking down the street, or riding on the subway, or an elevator. It does not impose any obligation to get out of the way if someone is walking quickly behind you. It does not require that you jump out of the way if someone needs to pass by or sit down. It is your own world, uninterrupted. The confirmation and meditation for me today came in two things: one visual, and one auditory. As I was digging away in the front yard, exposing and expelling the onions, and contemplating the soul/body/mind-cleansing process of doing this (and thinking too it just might be feeding some OCD element in me since it really is such an impossible but rewarding task at the same time), I found two shining globes in the earth. I found my marbles. Or someone’s marbles. But they’re mine now, so I found my marbles today. And enjoyed this song…

Sorry not sure how to make it appear. I’ll work on that. And found these…

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5 responses to “Finding My Marbles

  1. Ralph ⋅

    I like this post! All my gardening happens in the back yard, so it is rare that I get interrupted. One neighbor in the process of moving out would see me out back coffee cup often in hand, and joke about what was ‘really’ in that mug. There is something about working soil that feels good, even while working up a good sweat. I have heard that there are microbes in soil that actually do make you feel better, but some things do not need to be too closely scrutinized, we just seem to ‘know’ they are so- and that is enough.

    My starter plants are doing well, getting me back into the daily water, observe, observe some more routine. Still limited to containers so far, I decided to use some of the plywood in the basement to make a few planters. The pieces are a good size to make about 4 boxes roughly 8x8x25 inches. This is a good size since they can fit nicely on my deck railings, or on the ground. With the idea of making one, I started gathering a few things only to find I didn’t have any saw blades. Note to self ….

    Jason on http://www.theselfsufficientgardener.com has a series of good podcasts. Start with the one on seed starting. My carrot seeds seem to be sprouting well, and pretty soon I will have to move them. A second scallion is developing a flower, and I’ve been making occasional notes in my garden journal. Oh, Jason also did an interview with ‘Wildman’ recently. Maybe some garden podcasts will make for some good gardening listening.

    • Revel

      Thank you! I think there is something naturally attractive and healing about rolling up our sleeves and playing in the dirt. It reminds me of being near water. It’s healing. Back in my wilder days, I more than once made a pilgrimage to Coney Island just to shake the after effects of too late a night in the salty ocean air. It was my medicine cabinet, tucked down there at the end of my map.

  2. Ralph ⋅

    Most of my store bought starter plants are now in the ground with lots of space for them to hopefully spread. On the outside corners I planted my over wintered wormwood plants to stand guard duty and ward off some creepy crawlers. There’s all kinds of conflicting information on wormwood, but what everyone seems to agree upon is that nothing much eats wormwood due to it’s extreme bitterness, and it repels bugs. I guess I’ll find out!

    I haven’t quite decided what to put into all the empty space around the plants. My yard has lots of wild violets which spread all over and I don’t want those cluttering up that section. I was thinking of just throwing some mixed herb seeds in there, maybe some left over sweet Spanish onion seeds, or transplanting my recently sprouted carrot seeds when they get a little larger. Any ideas?

    The small section where some of my scallions now grow will become my small ‘onion patch’ once I clean it up. I’ll plant more scallion seeds and onions there. I spotted another small flower growing on a container scallion so even more seeds will be on their way. Aside from a couple ideas on where to put my tomatoes, that’s about all I have planned out. Last frost is early in May so time to plan and plant is around the corner.

    • Revel

      I’ve also been loosely organizing in my mind what will go where. Mostly, I’ve been trying to stay open to what my instincts are telling me. I’m starting to think gardening is kind of like eating. It’s said our bodies tell us what we need based on our cravings. For example, if you’re hungry for red meat, you likely are lacking in iron. If you crave crunching on ice, same (unless it’s one of those weird obsessive disorders but normally it somehow is supposed to indicate a need to up your iron intake).

      Lately, as I’ve been taking my night walks, I’ve been admiring gardens as art. When I look in a window, and see the silhouette of a plant, it feels like a gift. Being able to look at and admire something grown in a neighbor’s front yard feels very much like they’ve given a small present to everyone who passes by. I think I always resisted growing flowers because there’s some obsession with the neatness or flourishness of it. I don’t ever want to be in competition with the folks I live nearby. There are enough opportunities to challenge oneself in other arenas (ideally, I think, is to try to one-up oneself rather than your neighbor, friend, colleague or family). So I think this kept me away from growing flowers. Or at least growing flowers neatly.

      The other day, however, I stepped out onto my back porch, and I thought, it would be nice to see some flowers right here. So, I’m guessing, something in me needs flowers this season. I’m marking up a Park Seed catalog I got recently (my first ever — meaning the first ever seed catalog to arrive at my door, just for me — I’m hoping the ink is soy based so I can compost it). So consider some flowers in an area that you don’t have dedicated to something else already. If you’re like me, and want to make it practical at the same time, maybe get some edible ones. Although they’re only annuals, I did have fun growing begonias last year (more of a container plant in my opinion). I’m hoping to post soon on some of the research I’ve been doing, since I can’t quite seem to get away from wanting to make even my aesthetic flower planting edibly viable as well.

  3. Ralph ⋅

    I’ve been thinking of tossing some flower seeds randomly in my unplanted area just to see what happens, but also want to fill a few flower pots with them. The ‘tossed’ ones would be primarily to benefit the garden, bring in bees, bugs, and whatever. I have been spotting what I believe to be catnip growing here and there. I had some growing in the ground last year and purposely left some seeds on the plant hoping they would come back on their own. it is already attracting bees with little flowers, and if any cats in the area happen to find it I may get a natural bird deterrent too. I’ve been neglecting flowers, but as I listen to more garden shows it seems everything has it’s place.

    I just heard a program that mentioned fire ants. The farmer once killed all of them only to have cutter ants move in to feast on crops. Now they just reduce the fire ant numbers and they keep the other ants under control.

    What I need to look into again is companion planting. I am still thinking of putting herbs around what I planted, but want to avoid putting the wrong things together. If I remember borage and basil are pretty good for companion plants, but judging from last year borage plants can get kind of tall and may shade lower things like lettuce. I am probably putting too much thought into this, and should just fling some seeds around.

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