Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Friday, April 30, 2010

In Spades

As with anything else, the work of the garden comes with bright moments and none-so-bright ones. This morning -- blustery, overcast, heavy with storm-premonitory humidity -- I was spading up some sod, removing it to make a place for planting peas; and I was thinking how gardening implements of iron and steel must have served so often in history as weapons -- so sharp are they, so sturdy, having been fashioned for rough work in the soil. My mind went back to a watercolor I painted back in the early 1980s of some Markrichian characters who were farmers taking up their implements of agriculture for reason of war.

It had to fall after such a meditation that, at last, I did what I long have feared to do, while gardening -- which is to do in one of our most favored garden denizens, genus Bufo. What a moment of horrified realization followed the act. The spade I was using, in common with most of our garden tools, is venerable ... and it has a name upon it, a somewhat suggestive one: "Razor-Lite." The manufacturer was Union Fork & Hoe Company.

I will atone for this inadvertent violence ... although I can hope I have served enough time in anuran habitat support, and in tadpole-raising activities, still to be viewed with sedate impartiality by the Great Toad in the sky -- or in the earth. Yet the idea of raising tadpoles again is far from distasteful: so I might as well engage in that atonement.

Later in the morning I was using another old implement, a cultivator, in removing some violets from beside the asparagus bed, and broke the handle where it fits within the cultivator head. The fix will take some doing. it being so fine a tool, the fix will be worth doing, though.

Near the Hansen's cherry bushes, I saw I had set my white coffee mug on an overturned galvanized tub. To my pleasure I saw it still held cold coffee -- with a tiny cherry blossom petal floating it:

Speck of white upon pool of black within white.

Visually delightful. And delicious.

Cheers ...

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