Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dirt Therapy


I am not one for yard work, of any kind. As I've said before, any kind of outdoor, pick up a shovel and dig, kind of activity was viewed as being cast down into the lowest level of hell. I must be growing up or something (don't tell anyone!), because on Saturday the strangest thing happened. I went out and worked in the yard, voluntarily, and liked it. Ol' Bill (my father) would be so proud.

It was completely a spur of the moment thing. I was sitting on the couch mid morning Saturday, sipping my third cup of coffee, and watching a movie I had DVR'd earlier in the week (those who know me will be surprised to hear it wasn't a death movie). As the movie finished and the house had gone quiet, I started feeling kind of melancholy. I can't put my finger on what the problem was exactly, it was more a general sense of being bored, lonely, and restless. Normally I would have followed that particular rabbit down the rabbit hole and spent the day listening to Sad Bastard music, watching more movies (death ones to boot),feeling sorry for myself, and eating things I shouldn't. Yeah yeah, I know, welcome to my inner sanctum of crazy.

But I didn't. I had been talking about turning an old wooden sandbox left by previous owners of the house into an herb garden for a while,like for three years, but had never gotten around to the actual doing. So this past Saturday, when faced with a long afternoon of throwing cheese doodles at my face, and wiping tears away from my eyes with orange stained fingers until I looked like some deranged crazy lady with a bad spray on tan, I decided to do something a little different.

I threw on some grubby clothes and went outside armed with mighty farmin' tools, and proceeded to lay waste to the weeds and small trees that had taken root in my sandbox. I then made the suburban pilgrimage to Home Depot for gardening soil and plants. I have to say the plant selection there is sad sad sad sad sad. It's the vegetative equivalent to a puppy mill. But I found a few quasi healthy plants and a butt load of potting/gardening soil, loaded up the Toyota and headed back to the homestead

Dirt Therapy. Who knew!? I had the best time pulling weeds, lugging crap around my yard, and digging my hands in cool, rich, pungent soil. I found my head clearing and my thoughts slowing down, until all that I was left with was me and my garden. I may have even talked to the plants as I carefully placed them into their new digs. When I had finished my body was stretched and tired, but in that buzzy energized way that makes you feel kind of high. All those feelings of purposelessness had disappeared, and I had spent the day getting closer to the person I want to be. I was a filthy, sweaty mess, but exceedingly pleased with myself; like a first grader bringing home her first attempt at writing her name.

"Lookie what I did!"

12 comments:

Heather said...

How wonderful. I have been having a similar yard experience. I often thought that I was beyond the suburban culture, but, it has been fun.

flutter said...

that's awesome!

Lara said...

Exactly why I love my perennial garden. :)

Ms.Q said...

Bea, I am so proud of you. It looks really great!!! You know another thing I heard that is soothing to the soul is painting...just saying.
Ms. Q

Nykky said...

I like your blog...it's funny, I just took up working in the garden to. weird. I think it's because I need something to occupy my time otherwise I'd be doing bad things in the kitchen. Anyway, just found your blog and I am enjoying reading it.

FairiesNest said...

Zen and the art of gardening! Now you know why I'm such a fanatical dirt grubber. Welcome to the club!

Cammy said...

How pretty! I don't like gardening for the sake of gardening, but there's just something so...satisfying about obliterating weeds.

I'm so glad you didn't give in to the Cheetoh-fest, instead creating something that will bring beauty into your life all summer long.

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Lynn said...

I just want to say that line about the bad spray-on tan made me both fall out of my computer seat (literally, swear to god, I did!) and snort diet pepsi up my nose. (The later contributing to the former!)

Well done!

Wish I had some dirt to grub in. I live in an apartment, so we have a lawn care service for that, and all they do is dump grass clippings on my porch.

Hanlie said...

I also worked in my garden on Monday for the first time in forever! Feels great, doesn't it?

we_be_toys said...

Yeah, the spray-on tan, a la Cheese Doodles image was wonderful. I hear they make great fake nails too! (:P)
Can't wait to go hit the farmer's market this weekend and fill in the holes in both of our gardens!

Nicole said...

Hmmm...I don't see my original note on this. I guess it didn't take and I didn't notice.

Anyway, this entry inspired me, and as soon as I read it on Saturday, I headed out to the garden and did some serious labor. Thank you!!