Monday, June 11, 2012

We wait a long time around here for summer weather. In fact, we suffer through months and months of soul-sucking cloudiness, when every step in the slush is on a path of gloom. When the sunshine breaks through and the flowers burst into bloom, I dare say we are the most grateful of all the 48 continental states.

Summer signals the happiness of planting a garden. By the end of the summer, the bloom is off the rose and all the produce seems suddenly rather a burden than a joy (who wants to can when it's ninety degrees out?), but right now, when things are planted in tidy ornamental rows, it is pure bliss. I like to spend the evenings tucking the pea shoots into yarn stretched between two sticks and tying the tomato plants to the stakes and marveling at exactly how many basil seedlings came up. It pains me physically to thin the seedlings to the proper spacing. Who do I yank by the roots? Who am I to say this one lives and this one doesn't? Suddenly, gardening becomes the metaphysical.

It's always the metaphysical, really, watching something come to life and grow and die in a matter of months.r We're seedlings, too. Though thankfully, we're not subject to such a capricious master, one who might forget to water or lose interest in holding our vines close to the stake. No, we're pruned tenderly, regularly, fertilizer always at the ready if only we'll take it, and our sun is always in the sky.