Some times when I share passages with Babu we are launched into talking sessions where stories are told, expanded, feature a cast of characters whom are, mostly, very loved, and explore poignant matters even to the extent of the meaning of life. Sometimes she’s pretty quiet and reads to herself, laughs at a few things – like how daring it was to wear white, and she thanks me and that’s all I get. Two weeks ago I gave her the passages all for the month of June. Exciting times! But she didn’t give me much to think or write about.
Well, today I tried sliding the last week of June in front of her again. She knew she already read it. No tricking her. But I wanted something more I could sink my teeth into! I hope you understand and believe me when I say I didn’t want the dish from her for exploitative blogging needs. Yes, I like to have something funny or touching to post. Every writer would want that. But there’s also that whole part before I begin to write where I’m talking with her and that whole part before I post where I’m processing what she told me, what she revealed, what we laughed about. I love sending her back to her past and traveling through to the present in the way memories and conversation can. I love the act of learning about her. I will give her smaller passages from now on and keep trying to find questions and ways of interviewing that might get her chit chatting more. But, of course, the important part is that she is enjoying this and some days it will pop and some days it will flop.
SO! I’d like to take this down time to gush about my garden! My garden is important to me for more reasons then the sense of pride and an oasis of incredibly therapeutic relaxation I gain from being out there as much as I possibly can. This yard was, is, and will always be “Babchi and Dziadu’s” yard. It is amazing to me that some things my husband’s great grandparents planted are still here. There’s a rhubarb bush still – they are still feeding us – and lily of the valley – and sharing beauty with us. Babu always talks about how they would come home from the mills and go right into the garden before eating or anything else and work until the sun went down. I used to think that was a lovely slight exaggeration until it began to happen to me. I’d hop out of my car and rush to the garden after some crazy day at work and wish the sun to stay up a few hours longer.
I’ve been gardening here the last three years and they are the first years I have ever gardened. I have no idea what I’m doing, especially since I try new plants every year, and I do not consider myself successful yet. I started strong last year but really failed by the end as Fall school blues got the better of me and I let it all wither and go to seed and weed. The great side of that is I was hungry for it again this Spring, early, and all the extra work it took me to do to get the beds ready for planting kept me busy while it was too early to plant. Plus, I got some seeds from it!
My husband has been equating me with Icarus. I have vertical garden planters for our fence and added a flower bed and bought quite a few extra containers for other areas of the yard and a green house…Then I was given an order form from a student for plants from a local community garden organization. I ordered 153 plants. Veggies, herbs, and flowers. (Flowers are pretty much a new thing for me.)
I don’t know why he thinks I’m Icarus at all. But he has been warned not to say it again. I am bound and determined. Every year I strive to make Babchi and Dziadu proud and this year will be the year I get the sensation of them being out there with me, introducing themselves, and telling me they like what I’ve done with the place.
The rhubarb and peonies that have been there forever for all I know.
Ferns that were planted by them.
The beautiful dogwood (?) tree. There is a notch in the tree that every year a squirrel and the grackles fight over for their home.
The Lilly of the Valley.
The Herb Box that Dziadu made.
Even the compost heap! They started this heap and turned a sandy area where nothing would grown into a beautiful yard, mostly because of the compost – and they composted everything! I don’ know where I would be without it!