09 July 2011

Gravity Works

So yesterday was one of my not so good days. It started out great. It was overcast, nice breeze, had recently rained and wasn't very hot. I couldn't sleep but there's not much you can do at 4:00am but wait for a decent hour. At 6:00am I went out with the dogs and decided I was fit enough to do some work in the garden. That was my first mistake. I love gardening. I haven't been able to garden because of my neck and back. Whatever mutinous plans my internal organs are carrying out haven't made it any easier for working outside. Yesterday though it was my favorite combination of conditions so I had to do it. The ground has been soaked with rain and there are some easy pulls out in the garden.

One of the many things people who don't live in Kentucky don't know about Kentucky, at least this transplant didn't know it, is that Kentucky vegetation is jungle like. Ignore your garden at your own peril. Besides the invasive kudzu, a bad idea imported from Japan, the indigenous species will overwhelm your flowerbed in the proverbial shaking of a lambs tail. Kentucky Blue Grass spreads using rhizomes, just about anything using that method is capable of overtaking you while you sleep. A few weeks of rain and my inability to be active on a regular basis, and I had a weed infestation of biblical proportions in my raised bed.

Before my neck injury prevented it, I would pull weeds each morning before work and each evening before dark. Because my efforts are hit and miss these days and I can only be out in the garden for 15-30 minutes before I want someone to amputate at the neck for me, I put down landscape cloth around most of the area that I plant. I also put mulch down on most of it, but again, I do things in a bassackward fashion now depending on my neck and back's cooperation, so I hadn't been able to get all the mulch down. That's why the weeds growing under the landscape cloth had lifted it some 6 inches off the ground. It was creepy feeling to walk on it and I was convinced there would be a nice Kentucky black snake or a copperhead that was vole hunting under there for me to step on. Even my dreaded fear of snakes couldn't keep me from going in and pulling some weeds.

It felt great while I was doing it. It felt productive and I felt good about conquering my snake fears by walking in there. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there are weeds in there that are 5' tall. I wish I knew what they are, they resemble hemlock or a wild carrot, sort of fern like but they grow on one tall column. Anyway, whatever they are they were coming out easily because the soil is wet. One after the other I yanked out, not even having to stoop to get to them. I was a madwoman, equal parts gardener subduing the earth and Indian Jones reclaiming treasure. Then it happened. The one tall weed that wouldn't come out. I tugged and felt its full resistance. I tugged again, still nothing. I reached down low on the stem, bent my knees and put the full force of my weight and strength into dislodging that weed. I think I heard the danged thing giggle as it quickly surrendered. So quickly that there was little or no resistance. I had a bucket load of momentum going in a backward direction and nothing but gravity to hold me to the planet. In what seemed to take a full 60 seconds but probably happened in less than one, I had the "Oh" look of knowledge on my face followed shortly by my backside feeling the full force of a gravitational assault. The only thing that got me up quickly was the idea that I was now sitting on the imaginary snakes under the weed barrier.

I gingerly came inside and pretended I hadn't been in the garden at all. I made breakfast, watched the news and when the neighbor boy came over to see if I needed any work done, which he does frequently and I love him for it, I let him play in the garden and with the new weed eater I purchased to make his life easier. After that I took some of my pain meds and set myself in my recliner, grabbed the remote and turned on the idiot box. I would by lying if I tried to pretend I wasn't enjoying the floating feeling of being carried off to slumber by muscle relaxers and pain killers. Just as I was about to enter the land where snoring is sublime the phone rang. Annoyed but groggy, I answered it. "Hello?" It continued to ring. I fumbled for the 'talk' button. "Hello? HELLO?!" The blasted thing kept ringing. Odd isn't it? No matter what button you push on the remote control or how hard you press it to your head and say "HELLO?!!" the phone will keep on ringing.

So much for subduing the earth or technology.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine. But a broken spirit dries up the bones

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