Last week:
I ventured out, to dig and rip, to shred and uproot, to remember what hot earth feels like on the hands. Bending myself, reshaping an out-of-control garden bed, I emerge only partially.

The sickly sweet scent of Nepeta (Catmint) sticks to me – it’s most excellent in its spread – few if any weeds grow beneath its full skirts – and it’s a deer and pest deterent – such a bonus. And the bees thrill to it when it blooms. But now, on the eve of the changing seasons, it needs upkeep.
I discover there are too many plants, too close together, which lends itself to a wildness during summer’s height, but it all falls into disrespect now.

The few Monarda (Bee Balm) are lost in it, and to the onslaught of weeds further along the bed – the area where a ribbon snake is still staking a claim. As for the thicker, checkerboard garden snake? I haven’t gotten to the end yet, so it’s yet to be re-discovered. Truthfully, it sends me along the creepy crawlies’ edge.

But I spade on, slowly, laying paving slabs and rebuilding a cedar-post fence, to corner off a section where nothing but moss grows – and to keep the dogs out – away from what I hope will eventually be a salvageable small garden.

It’s the only thing that isn’t ramshackle, even as it is out of bounds. I will ache and pain later for it, but in the moment, oddly enough, I move and kneel and dip and lug without issue. For a few hours, as the sun warms me and flushes my face, I feel almost normal, slightly human again – not just a pile of old and abused bones and injuries – and I am hopeful, filled with wonder and interest – and this is worthy of a smile – lasting one.

🌄 written for Trent’s The Weekly Smile 😊 Sept. 20 ’21 + featured image from unsplash

5 thoughts on “spadework

  1. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 9/20 – 9/26/2021 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

    • could garden by moonlight – but it does require additional lighting, like a miner’s headlamp, and certainly, you can’t cover as much ground, and some things, like pruning, might be dangerous by nightfall, but perhaps, the best thing, is to simple slip into the ambiance and let the night wash over – some of the best gardens are the ones specifically designed for “night” – with silvery foliage and plants that release their heaviest perfumes etc. And of course, everything looks different at night too – which adds another element/dimension 😊

      thanks for stopping in 💖✌


      • I never thought of a “night garden” — what a wonderful concept. I can imagine the magic of sitting, listening to the cricket and circada chorus (I know you’d not enjoy that part), watching the silver play of light and leaf. Yes, night does have it’s own perfume; plants for all the senses, in moonlight bath. If ever I have a garden again, I think I will have a moonlight corner. Thanks for the great idea. Might come in handy when writing, too. . .

        Liked by 1 person

      • your welcome – and honestly, we’re creatures of habit – we live most of our lives by the waking daylight hours – and most night things get us all spooked and such, but there are more things in the heavens, Horatio …. and just stepping out side, even in a city’s heart, or suburbs, or wherever, can offer a new sensory dimension ….. and I’m in agreement, if ever I have a “real” garden again – I’d like to incorporate a night scape woven within it, for sure. 🙂


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