Woodpeckers and Ancestors in the Garden

The last time I posted about my garden was here:

April A-Z: Garden

This isn’t a garden blog but talk of the garden fits here.  Some times when I feel like I could float away in all the fears and negativity that can surround any person who is a caretaker, this garden anchors me.  Not into water, it frees me from drowning.  It attaches me to the earth.  Before we had out Fourth of July party, I worked my ass off in the garden.  There was some pressure, from myself, from Adam, and maybe from somewhere else as well, to have a garden and, thanks to Adam, a lawn, that was thriving, inviting, and whimsical.

Well, I pulled it off.



I was tired.


And then we began to have day after day of heat and humidity sometimes but no rain for days and days.  It began to fall apart, fall to seed and to weeds.  Things began to get really dry and wilt.  Who was around to impress?  No guests, too hot for Babu to sit outside, and too damn hot to get out there and work.

And of course, if you tend a garden, you know how it can get on top of you.

Whats worse, is that plants, mostly my flowers, were dying.  That’s surely a waste of money.

The garden was getting destroyed!

distroyed 1distroyeddistroyed 2

I started to kick it back into high gear and put in a lot of work weeding and trying to bring some flowers back to life.  Then, I replanted.

Again, it’s hard work in the heat!

tired 2

I think a lot about whether Babcia would be happy that I have kept the garden going.  I know the answer is yes.  But, when I ask myself if I think she’d be happy with how I kept the garden, well, that’s another story.  I think you’ll see why:


Even though I replanted, I tried to keep some guys alive by dead heading, sometimes trimming a little, and giving plenty of water.  I think I have to give it up on some of them, though.

I don’t think Babcia would have approved of ever letting the weeds get out of hand, letting a watering slip, forgetting to put a net over the blue berry bush until it was too late.  I imagine all the time what the garden looked like under her’s and Dziadziu’s care.  It was more than likely pruned and weeded and neat and thriving.  Mine, I’m sure in more whimsical, more wild, and in some places failing.  I don’t think Babcia would have liked some of what I’m doing.  But hey, not all of it looks bad:


I know that she would appreciate the harvests:


Even still, the tomatoes split they were so over ripe, I could have let the potatoes go a little longer and I would have gotten a bigger yield, and what would I have done with all of those?!

I know Babcia, like Babu, got things done right, when they should be done.  I truly think she would have let me know how I should be running my garden.  Still, I seem to imagine, if our ancestors hang around and watch over us, things are distilled.  Weeds in a garden are not as important as how someone is taking care of their daughter.  I think both of them would be pleased that I was keeping beauty on the property and still putting the dirt to work.

Sometimes it is really easy to believe that their presence is still here.  The other day I was out working and I heard a bunch of odd bird sounds I never heard before.  I looked up to find a woodpecker perched on my fence.  He called to his mate, a more slender woodpecker without the magenta spot on the back of her head.

I rarely see woodpeckers, but this guy showed up once before.  We were whooping it up in the garage when we heard a a rapid rattle of sounds.  When I said: “It sounds like a woodpecker on the garage!” I was kidding, but we stepped outside to get a pretty good glimpse of him before he flew away.

They have appeared a few other times, once on the peak of the garage to let out one demanding caw like sound moments after Adam had climbed up on the roof.  Almost as if we were getting chided, me for allowing my husband to do that and he for risking his neck.  (Sometimes you just need a better view.)

I have started to believe they are Babcia and dziadziu, checking in.

wood 1
He appeared the same weekend I sat in the backyard watching the airshow.  I have to think it means something.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s