Watering the Garden

May 22nd, 2023

Essay 10
Watering the garden.

My garden is doing well. I lean over the fence telling my dad how to cage my tomatoes which are starting to act like vines that creep rather than climb. It doesn’t take me long till I throw open the gate, ditch my scooter and go down on my hands and knees. I have to start weeding. Right now. My nut grass and thistle looks infantile and harmless. Light and easy. Innocent. But I know better.. those suckers will take over before the next full moon and spout babies faster than the horny bunnies that dart in and out of my yard. Dad is grunting a bit. He is being as gentle as he can, but I am impatient because a baby tomato has rolled off to its doom and he doesn’t see the tomato suckers that have spouted out between intersections. I need them removed but can’t ask him to do yet another hyper conscious act for me.

In truth I just need the cages up and garden watered. My pants are dirty and my fingers are caked in dirt. My manicured nails reflect the sun, cautioning me to pull back before they are ruined. I see a familiar hole and wonder if the snake is back. I had my landscaper William remove the snake once and take it down the property, but this snake likes my garden and I know that means the mice don’t. Either way I am encouraged to get up and stop. Without a foot down I know I can’t move fast enough to dart a snake.

Dad moves on to the hose situation which he has decided to rectify once and for all. In another life he would approve plans that would put ground sprinklers in all through the corporate parks he managed. Miles of ground sprinklers were set on timers that would go on and off before people arrived at work. His own personal Bellagio. As such he loves putting timers on things. I don’t have one single timer on anything which baffles him. I also don’t have an underground sprinkler system. I don’t even have enough spickets. Presently I only have one spicket that works and this needs to cover three acres. So you see why my hose situation is a challenge for my Dad.

He is grunting again and is working two sets of plyers. He has a face that I know. It is a combination of aggravation, patience and determination. I make a note to myself to go through some albums to find the exact picture that captures this face. Standing for a full deep breath, he announces that he has to go to Home Depot. I am convinced that Home Depot is actually a time out for husbands and Dads.

He drives off and I kneel down again and face plant in the grass for a while. I let my whole body settle. Suddenly a sweet smell rises and engulfs me. I think of my Peruvian shaman Theo who was recently in town. Shamans are shamans because extraordinary things happen to them involving nature that take them beyond the realms of reason and science. Over and over nature herself whispers to them their sacred path. One day when Theo was a young boy he walked through is mother’s extensive garden and was awe struck by this flowering tree. It was if the tree had cast a spell over him that he could not turn away from. All at once this overwhelming perfume was released into the air. In smelling it he entered an altered state that lasted for hours and took him into a state of union and communion that he never forgot. This was one of his first initiations behind the veil. He explained that nature can choose us and reveal to us its mysteries on levels we can’t imagine. If we can open ourselves fully to it, it will open itself fully in return.

I take a moment to do this. I take this sweet earthy smell deep into my belly then roll over on my back to let it seep into my spine. I am a mess now covered in dirt, grass and probably even a bug or two. Time goes by faster than I think. I have slipped between the veil for a while. I don’t need any drugs to do this, I just seem to know where to go. I see Dad’s thick white Irish calf go by and know he is back from the store looking hopeful. He is not phased at all by his fairy sensitive, almost 55 year old daughter, laying spread Eagle in the grass. He knows by now that I am one of the spellbound that can switch over and be captivated by the natural world, that I have learned that if you are willing to get just a little bit dirty nature will reach out and happily pull you deep into its intoxicating world. I have learned we are all being called to this, are made for this. We need it.. All of us and we need it now.

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