May 21, 2019

Scents of Spring

The View from My Hill


Margaret Atwood, the Canadian novelist, once said “In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

I am grateful to her for pointing out to me that what I have been busy doing the last few weeks has indeed, been what I should be doing.

Yes, I have been smelling a lot like dirt lately as I pluck weed after weed from my gardens.

And fresh cut grass. In Spring, it seems like I mow my lawn every fourth day. Somehow, blades of grass always find ways to adhere to my body and get in my hair.

And of course, let’s not forget the smell of mulch. For the past two weeks, I have been spreading four yards of hemlock mulch over my gardens, in hopes that in another few weeks, I won’t have to be pulling so many weeds. In my younger days, I could accomplish this over a long weekend. But alas, those days, and that body, is long gone. So, I have been trudging along, doing as much in a day that this old body can handle and still be able to walk without pain.

It is a good thing that I am mostly retired. Otherwise, I honestly do not know how I would be able to do all of this. How I managed to when I worked full time is beyond me.

For many years, I have planted a vegetable garden. Crammed with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins and zucchini, I have always planned to “put up” the excess harvest in the fall. This year I am being realistic. I have scaled back my plans and will be planting only two or three tomatoes plants, maybe a few cucumbers and peppers. While I enjoy watching my garden grow, I realize that it is now time to let the nearby farm take over and do what they do best – provide for me. It is more enjoyable to shop there every week and pick what someone else has planted, tended, and harvested then to have to do the work myself. There are other things I want to do instead now. And at this age, I am realizing that I have only so much energy to spare.

So, while I will still have the chance to smell like dirt in the spring, and I will still be able to watch my garden grow, I won’t be a slave to the process. I won’t let it become one more chore to check off my list. It is time to downsize.


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