Saturday, July 27, 2013
One day only
Today, for one day only, I have a perfect garden.
Today my week-long weeding and cleaning blitz came to a close. Today my big, strong, hockey-player student spread four cubic yards of bark mulch in the perennial garden while I followed along behind him tickling the mulch onto all the nooks and crannies.
Today there is not a weed to be seen. The edges are tidy and the paths are swept clean.
Today my student's mom, when she came to pick him up at the end of his shift, called my garden a Martha Stewart Garden.
Tomorrow there will be weeds. Tomorrow there will be more dried-up columbines ready to be cut back. Tomorrow I will wake up and find some disorder where today there is order. But today, for one day, everything is perfect.
And you know what? I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
To my surprise, I find the neatness and order of today's garden just a little unsatisfying. "Hallelujah!" Mother Nature and her angels are shouting, after five years of trying to cure me of my perfectionism. Well, I may be a slow learner, but I think I've finally got this lesson down. Finally I realize there's something to be said for the unpredictability of Mother Nature's version of a garden, for the unexpected odd bits that pop up to surprise you, for the asymmetry and wonkiness and messy bits. My orderly everything-matches-because-it's-just-been-mulched garden is a little . . . well, boring.
So this evening, for one evening only, I'll sit on the verandah and look out on perfection. And tomorrow I'll embrace a less tidy, more real garden, all the more beautiful for its imperfection.