Only For As Long As You Want To

What’s great about growing older involves not caring what other people think so much. You do things for the joy of it, not to keep up, put on airs, or prove yourself in any way. It’s a liberating way to live.

Today I decided to work in my garden. Nobody made me, and it didn’t matter if I did or not. I set out to simply work for as long as I wanted to. It wasn’t a chore a parent forced me to do or some script I was following for the neighborhood on what it means to have an appropriate garden. And since it was all backyard work, it wasn’t to show off to anyone. It was just for me. First, I cleaned the solar bird fountain, and I felt like Snow White as the thankful birds flew around me. As I turned up the soil by weeding around the fountain, the robins came to gather the worms I revealed. I loved how the fountain immediately burbled and welcomed all the birds. Next, I weeded around the peonies, the lilac, and the goats beard. I fertilized the berry bushes, but I didn’t weed there because yellow jackets love to nest near blackberries. I’m allergic. My husband is in charge of the berries.

I ignored my carrots, parsley, and chives. They’ll come up soon. I saw hopeful signs that my lavender plant will come back again this year.

I checked on my pumpkins and watermelon plants, tended to my sickly fig tree, and encouraged the peach tree. I fertilized a young plumcot and then thought for a while about where I might design my “scatter garden.” My daughter gave me a hummingbird pollinator “scatter garden” for Christmas. In a brown bag with a bright green bow sat an assortment of various flower seeds. You scatter these seeds in loose soil wherever you want to attract the hummingbirds. I decided to scatter my seeds in the dark, rich soil in front of the pumpkin patch. They looked like constellations in the night sky, a Milky Way of seeds. Then, I took handfuls of soil to lightly cover them. In a few weeks, I’ll see the flowers beginning to grow.

That was enough of outside work. I was finished. Lunch awaited.

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