25 March 2006

In the words of Leonard Cohen

"I ache in the places where I used to play…."

Oooouuucchhh! All the muscles in my body have decided to be mad at me, especially those in my legs, shoulders, back and arms. My fingernails are all broken off. There are splinters and scratches and digs in my hands, and there’s a distinctive stain that looks like dirt in all the creases and callouses. And what’s this??? Blisters? BLISTERS?

Yes, all these things are here. Also a bit of windburn on my face, and a distinctive sense of being overwhelmingly tired. It’s so nice to feel these things again!


Yup, nice. It’s gardening season again, and I just overdid it for the first time this year. Was working away on a presentation and the sun was beckoning me away from my office just to go out and walk around the yard for a little bit. Then that walking turned into pulling out a few weeds—some couchgrass, a few dandelions, a bit of chickweed. Oh, maybe I should cut down those dead stalks of Echinacea, centaurea, euphorbia…well, better get the rake out and clean up the mess I’m making. Can’t find my gardening gloves anywhere…must be the glove gremlins swiped them out of the greenhouse, so I’ll just grub along without them. Didn’t put any Naturally Nancy’s Protective Cream on before I went out on this unplanned gardencleaning session, so my hands aren’t only scuffed and scratched, they’re a bit dry feeling…but they’ll be fine later.

Every spring, that first session of working in the garden leaves me with that same achy-sore, but blissfully tired sensation. I’m sure many others are experiencing the same sort of thing after their first spring cleanup session too, as they massage achy muscles and use gardening scrub to clean the grit out of their skin and apply moisturizer to rejuvenate. Andwhile we all realize there will be a smelt snow and a robin snow and the poor man’s fertilizer snow and blistering cold winds and rain and sleet and more wind, we HAVE successfully broken the back of winter.

Wandering around the garden is like visiting a collection of much loved friends that we’ve not seen for ages. Here is a collection of foxgloves, mostly pink, but some pure white with only a few tiny speckles. Over here are the tiny sprouts of Fireglow Euphorbia, sort of resembling orange asparagus. All the bugleweeds are starting to shake off their pyjamas and get dressed in their spring and summer finery, shades of blue and rose and gold and burgundy. And here, pushing up through those bugleweeds are the little white darlings that caused me to dance around the yard so gleefully the other day, two dozen or so tiny snowdrops, bowing their gleaming heads under the sun’s warming rays.

This is a funny time of year, this late March, officially spring but not really. We grab days like this when the weather is warm and inviting, and we scramble around doing as much as we possibly can today, because tomorrow it could be snowing and cold and windy or grey and cold and windy…windy and cold of course being the operative words. But today it’s a day of carpe diem in the garden, so I’m carpe dieming full speed.

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