Tuesday, May 09, 2006

garden therapy

I read this excellent post yesterday, and knew EXACTLY what the writer is saying. You may not agree with our politics, but you can probably recall a time when you just had to leave it all behind and get a little garden therapy, too.
As Joni Mitchell sang "...and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden..."

Dick Cheney Helped Me Till My Garden
by Bob Higgins

on Sat 06 May 2006

I had intended to write a piece on Cheney’s speech in Vilnius yesterday and wrestled with the idea all afternoon and through the evening, at last too tired, too disinterested in the bastard to finish reading his painfully pompous and threatening remarks much less write about it I gave up.
Finally, I posted the whole sorry thing on my blog under the title "Cheney Lets Mouth Overload Ass, Full Text" and went to bed. To sleep, perchance to wake inspired.

No Dice. This morning over coffee and in the early light of a new day, Cheney’s snoratory was just as ugly and uninspired, just as threatening and bullyish and just as arrogant as it had been the night before. The smug son of a bitch spoke for a half hour, over four thousand words and left nothing to edify, to stir the better natures of his listeners, he delivered only empty platitudes and chest thumping, self serving bombast.

I still couldn't do it, the morning was beautiful and promised only to improve with time and personal attention so I decided that I would not share this lovely day with a bloodless cyborg so I finished my coffee and went out to till my garden.

The garden was an instant cure, balm for a frustrated soul, as the tiller growled and turned the loamy soil I felt myself unwind. At the end of each pass as I turned the machine around there were robins in my earthy wake happily plundering the bounty the tiller had exposed. The breeze freshened each time the clouds eclipsed the morning sun and subsided with each clearing, stilling for a moment the music of the leaves.

I worked through the morning and into the early afternoon hoeing and raking, enjoying the aroma of the rich soil and it’s promise of fat tomatoes and fiery peppers. I’ve been cautioned to take it easy so I paced myself and rested from time to time, something I would not have done a few short months ago. I discovered that I’m not able to be manic about physical labor anymore, I’ve grown old over this long winter. Life has found me out, has discovered my secret youth and carried it off forever.

In these unaccustomed breaks I heard the hundreds, no perhaps a thousand birds who shared my morning and saw and felt them cushioned on the breeze as if held aloft on a palm of wind and I felt the sun, it’s warmth, on my arms and on my neck a comfort of spring and peace, the peace of sounds and scents and sights of earth, and spring, and God himself.

I stopped for lunch and made a sandwich, a great noble sandwich. Out of sight of any physician I piled on the salami, the cheese and the peppers, the hearty basil and fragrant oil. I scorned the mortician as I ate this tour de force, this Kervorkian delight of a sandwich, I devoured it while sitting on the deck watching the birds enjoy my morning’s labor.

How good to work without madness, with calmness an enjoyment of the thing itself, I have to learn to do this as I write, I have to learn to feel the breeze.

Cheney will wait an hour, a day, or more, and a thousand dragon windmills will wait to feel the sting of my lance. I’ll meet them on the field, as a loyal legionnaire, I’ll answer the trumpets in my soul with the same determination as always, but today Dick Cheney’s awful speech in Vilnius has helped me till my garden.

Bob Higgins


Bob Higgins said...

Thank you for appreciating this enough to place it on your blog.
I'm flattered.
I'm going to place a link to your site in my blogroll as soon as I return.
Please take a look at my site when you have time and consider linking to me.

And again

Thank you

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

Betsy said...

I'm new to blogging, Bob, and am relieved to see that you didn't mind my re-posting your work. Thank you. Your "Dick Cheney Helped Me Till My Garden" speaks to the grassroots type common gardener person in me who uses their gardening as a metaphor for a lot of other things that crop up in life. I had a tough time deciding whether to copy your work into my gardening blog or my political blog. Maybe I should write more about this on the upside.

JacquelineC said...

I am enjoying a breath of fresh air from this post and from the WWSawdust...still sifting through the multitudes and learning my way around the blogosphere.

The nexus of these two posts is not at all a mystery to me. I remember as a child I could guage the quality of Mom's day at work by the exact number of minutes between in the front door and out the back to the garden.