Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The garden is a place I go to when I need to escape, and I mean really escape. It may seem to our romantic sensibilities that hopping on the back of a horse and running up a mountain side, or taking a walk in the woods with the dogs would be just as much a break from the stresses of everyday life, but not like the garden. Because when you garden there is nothing to mind but the static earth and plants, things that do not buck or whinny, chase squirrels or ask for thrown sticks. In the soil there is just the work of weeding, digging, hoeing and planning and it is done in some deeper recess of the brain that doesn’t require any sort of work to summon. I bring out a radio, plug into an audiobook, or blast music and my consciousness gives over to lyrics and drama, but the work is on autopilot. I do not think while I pluck out stray grass shoots, nettle, and daffodil spikes. My body is in one place and my mind is in another. I’m lost in a story, singing along with favorite lyrics, or rapt at an episode of This American Life. Sometimes I think going into the garden is like stepping into a chamber that transports me to another dimensions. It’s a place exactly like the one I just resided in but nothing matters that used to. Arguments with friends, late bills, that overly large mole I had removed from my left breast… Things that wake me up at three AM most nights are of such little consequence in the garden that a blade of stray grass demands more attention. Mostly because the grass is present at the same moment my need to remove it is, and the remedy is a tangible act I can commit and repair without any dispute.