Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Single Streak of Green Inside

I love the healing properties involved in gardening--in pruning, planting, pulling, nourishing, in seeds and water and sun and fresh air. I also love the musical Secret Garden, and this morning I had the words from the song "Wick" rolling through my head.

When a thing is wick, it has a life about it...
Somewhere there's a single streak of green inside it...

This morning Virginia and I tackled the jungle of our little back patio. We laughed to think about the two invalids of the house outside, pulling and tugging and raking. She's had a sinus infection all week and I, of course, am cancer girl (don't worry--we quarantined each other during her infectious phase. We don't share germs.). It was cloudy but about 50 degrees, so we put on our gardening clothes, found some gloves and garbage bags, and went to work.

When a thing is wick, it has a light about it
Maybe not a light that you can see.
But hiding down below a spark's asleep inside it,
Waiting for the right time to be seen.

I felt responsible for the out-of-control bean hyacinth vines that had taken over two fences. My dear grandmother sends me seeds from her garden every year, and I plant the little wrinkly black and white seeds along the back fence. This year they really took off and crowded out the entire back fence, even crawling up into the low-hanging limbs of the neighbor's apple tree. I loved those delicate purple blossoms. I love the deep green color and the wild life they filled my patio with last summer. And then I let their vines wither and die this fall and winter while my blood freaked out and created its very own lymphoblasts, slowly destroying everything in its path.

Well, the lymphoblasts are gone, and it was time for those darn dead vines to come down. I took to them with a vengeance (until I had to sit down and take a little breather), but down they came. Clean. Free. Gone.

Virginia attacked the flower beds and found growing tulips and hyacinths underneath all the leaves and vines and dead flowers from last season. I found a dead mum in a pot, and right as I started pulling it out, I found a little streak of green. Something was growing down in there, and it wasn't a weed. It was growing out of the old dead stalks. I didn't have the heart to uproot it, so I carefully cut off the dead stuff and put the pot in the sun, where it could grow to its heart's content.

It felt so good to be out there in the fresh air, working my hands and getting dirty. Oh I can't tell you. But I can tell you, spring is coming. It's a little deep in the ground this morning--the gray skies threaten to rain all day tomorrow. But it's a warmer breeze. It's coming. And it's bringing life and hope.

You clear away the dead parts,
So the tender buds can form,
Loosen up the earth,
And let the roots get warm.


M said...

What a wonderful parallel with your own life! Springtime is so hopeful and optimistic, with everything starting to reemerge and bloom and blossom. I'm sure working in the garden made you see and feel that even more. Love it!

Sarita said...

I hope your hearty mum gives you the most gorgeous blooms. So glad to hear you're enjoying the garden! Stay well.

Barbara said...

Ah your Granna would be so proud.

M said...

This was a beautiful post. I love Spring... and I want to see your garden!