Although this summer has been almost completely taken up with arts camp, we are involved in a few other things. For the second summer in a row, we're participating in the local Community Gardens project.
I love having a garden again. Having grown up with one (the big one my parents always planted in the backyard, and my own little garden space) I have spent the past nearly two decades yardless and so missing the chance to plant and grow things. We've got a good sized plot in a raised bed, and we're trying all sorts of things this year -- zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, basil, a few flowers (the sweet girl loves to sprinkle flowers in amongst the veggies, and I'm happy to oblige with easy growing zinnias and cosmos). We attempted carrots -- twice, from seeds -- but they didn't come up either time. We failed with carrots last year too and I thought perhaps it was because we sowed too late in the season. But this year we were well within planting time, and from everything I can tell, we should have been able to get in more than one planting. Still nada. Apparently we are not destined to grow carrots.
The terrible heat wave we recently went through (along with much of the rest of the country) pretty much wiped out our largest zucchini plant, but then it had flourished early, threatening to take over the whole bed, and has already given us several large, delicious squashes. So it has served its purpose. We need to dig out the drying plant soon which will leave room to try something else.
I'm so utterly thankful for this little garden plot. Though I have tried hard to adapt to my urban transplanting and to root out ingratitude wherever it tries to take over the garden plot of my heart, there is just something in my genetic makeup that has made almost fifteen years surrounded by asphalt really hard. I can get physically worn down by the constancy of pavement, tar, and traffic -- the sights, smells, and sounds can make me feel so weary. And I am realizing anew lately how physical weariness can feed into spiritual weariness -- our bodies, minds, and spirits are so connected.
So having a small patch of green and soil I can head to whenever I need to is a true blessing.
The Garden glows
And 'gainst its walls the city's heart still beats.
And out from it each summer wind that blows
Carries some sweetness to the tired streets.
Yes, and some sweetness to tired me.