1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Amounts to a Hill of Beans

When I planted a hedge of Photinia bushes two years ago, I knew what it means to be uptight. So uptight, in fact, that something inside me snapped while I wrestled 2-(felt like 5!)gallon-size potted shrubs into unyielding hardpan. No; it wasn't my sanity, although some people might consider it questionable now and then. There had been no rain for weeks early that spring, and I was harboring animosity toward someone our daughter was dating at the time. The tension I had allowed to build inside of me for several months finally met its match the day I planted those bushes. A back made weak by countless hours of sitting in the UWF library and in front of the computer to finish a degree that year began to show signs of wear and tear by degrees. And an unforgiving spirit of superiority regained a foothold in my soul. I have since discovered it takes a daily dose of garden/nature/prayer time to overcome what amounts to a hill of beans in this Casablanca-of-a-life.

The Fool's Prayer
The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"
The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.
He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!
"No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin; but, Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!
" 'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
'Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.
"These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.
"The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say--
Who knows how grandly it had rung?
"Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders--oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.
"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"
The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"
--poem by Edward R. Sill, 1841-1887--


  1. I've posted about bumbles, we're getting to know each other and I like giving updates. Do you know about their funky hives? Or that you can pet them when the weather turns cool?

    The poem is very visual. I hope your back is better.

  2. Those one gallon photinias sure grew fast in just two years! Wow! Good job! And what a nice way to work out stress.

  3. It is quite clear to me now why I need to spend so much time in the garden, err... fool that I am.

  4. I know exactly what you mean. When we are under stress it exhausts us. Instead of needing more rest what we need is to do something physical--like hack thru some hard pan soil or cut some sod.

  5. Gardening is a great way to relieve stress--nothing like pulling or hoeing viciously at weeds to get rid of some of that pent-up anger or frustration:) And just sniffing a bloom or watching a bumblebee fly about certainly improves the mood.

    Lately, my garden has caused me stress, though, as I have struggled to get everything planted and weeded before June. I finally realized there is no magic deadline, and the world won't end if I don't get it all done right away:) Hope things are going well with you.

  6. I find wrestling with rocks in the back yard, or weeding, or any other form of gardening is a great antidote for frustration, particularly the kind you don't want to vent on others. I've never seen the poem you shared. It's wonderful! Maybe we all could use a fool to help us pray once in a while.

  7. And here I thought I was the only crazy one to stand out by a bush for a long time to capture the busy bees hard at work. I never posted it but one day it may get on the blog. lol...

    I have been one busy bee myself the past few weeks and am now trying to catch up to my favorites. Okay, where do I start here?

    First welcome to Secret Aging Man! I find your chat on rocks fascinating and maybe you could tell me what to call that funny thing the Saint found as a child and is displayed in our living room! How wonderful your father was instrumental in getting Fluorite as the State Mineral in Ill! Something to be proud of for sure! I was flipping through the TV a few days ago when I came across the episode of Little House on the Prairie where half pint thought she had discovered gold in the creek. She loaded a huge wheel barrel of it and went to the bank to cash in to solve all her families money woes only to be told it was Fools Gold. Poor darling....

    It is nice to see the Gardening bug being passed along to your son! And the little one stomping in the mud puddle was priceless!

    Am glad that you had some time to wander around while retrieving the blueberry bushes. We have been eying them at the garden centers but they are 10 bucks a pop and not ready to fork over that dough just yet...

    The Blue Angels are awesome aren’t they? We saw them while the Saint was in the Air Force and stationed at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA. They would take your breath away with their maneuvers...

    I have a love hate relationship with new Garden Gloves. I love putting them on for the first time but hate getting them dirty and sticky with sap! lol...

    I go every Oct for my mammogram. With my first one something was spotted. I ended up on a table high in the air with boob poked through a hole in the table as the surgeon took samples. Oh how enticing that was for me to return a year later! Ha, Oct is breast cancer awareness month so I usually come home with a freebie like a finger nail file or free chick-filet coupon. I like freebies so my boobs can endure a bit of pain for a freebie. ROFLOL...

    I am glad to see your Peas survived the hail storm! We have not tried peas in our GA garden but did have luck with them in Germany. Must give them a try some time. That is, if we can ever get our yard dry enough...

    Okay, think I am caught up now :-)

  8. The back is much better, thanks, PJ. The doc at Creighton Chiro is a jewel. I haven't done much research on the bumbles, and I'd like to know more. For some reason, I've never been afraid of bees. Wasps, now, that's a different story. Been stung before by them and not eager to repeat the experience.

    Tina, I think the snow peas we had growing on the shrubs this spring added several inches to their girth and height. They must have gotten a good nitrogen fix. Maybe I've made up for the way they were handled the day that I planted them.

    Troutbirder, it's not so much that we're taming the garden, but that the garden is taming us. Fixed me up right quick and in a hurry!

    Marnie, you're right. Forget fancy gyms. Just give me a patch of earth to cultivate, a few tools, something to plant, and I can make the world go away for a while.

    Rose, you don't have to worry about me. I'm just fine. Not fond of deadlines myself. Sounds too final. Goals are much nicer to think about, especially if they're realistic.

  9. WS, plants are much more forgiving than people if you use harsh words or throw things at them. At least I hope so! I know a fool who's always available for a prayer or even just a talk. She used to be roamin', but these days she mostly just bloomin'.

    Well, hi, Skeeter! Glad you're back to visiting. I've kinda slowed down myself lately with blogging. Now where do I begin to reply? What thing in your living room are you talking about? I'm pretty sure SAM could ID it if you send him a pic or link. You'll find his e-mail address on his profile.

    I remember that Little House episode. It's a golden one to be sure.

    Funny how the gardening bug skips from one gender to the next with each generation in our family. My dad was the head gardener before me, and his mom was the one before him. Poor Micah doesn't stand a chance! He's already started demanding to help out with the watering can and other chores.

    The Blue Angels performed at an AFB? Aren't they invading the Thunderbirds' territory? They do leave you breathless for sure.

    Oh, yeah! The blueberries! I think all of them have survived the transplanting. No berries this year, maybe a few next year, and the year after that will find us swimming in them (I hope!).

    That glove post was fun to do. And I've never enjoyed a pair more. They're probably due for a wash. They're getting kinda grubby.

    Not fair! I didn't get any freebies! Got the bill, though. Even before I got the EOB from the insurance company. Is that legal? Doesn't seem right anyway.

    The peas are done for this year. Too hot now for them. They were great while they lasted.

    I'll be looking for that bee video. Our neighbors, I'm sure, do question my sanity. When I took the pic of the beans the other day, I had this feeling I was being watched. I looked up to see the neighbor two doors down outside with some of his buddies, and I'm pretty sure I heard laughter coming my way....

  10. This post reminded me of a book I read when I was much younger, titled "Mama's Bank Account" It's a story of Norweigan immigrants, but there was one part of it that made an impression and has stuck with me...

    In part of the book, the youngest daughter was in the hospital after an operation, and the mother came home after not being allowed to see her daughter. She immediately got out the bucket and the scrub brush, and prepared to scrub the floor. The other children asked what she was doing, and she replied "I'm scrubbing the floor" The children reminded her that she'd scrubbed the floors yesterday, to which she replied, "Yes, but sometimes you just have to be down on your knees."

    I don't know why that story always stuck with me.

  11. I think I'm a fool for being in such a frenzied state of mind this spring to not notice one of my viburnums being devoured by a nasty bug!

    "Our faults no tenderness should ask, The chastening stripes must cleanse them all; But for our blunders--oh, in shame Before the eyes of heaven we fall"

  12. Ops my Bad, you are right, it was the thunderbirds I saw in BAFB. The Blue Angels we saw while living in Colorado at the big air show. Duh, the memory is slow these days. Hope no Air Force people were reading this or they may give me a fly over while in the garden. lol...

  13. Hey, I just emailed the hubby about the mystery rock we have. Hopefully he will tell me it is a one in a million find and we are now rich! Want to go to Hawaii with us if this is the one? We are paying... lol

  14. Claude, that book sounds like a good read to me. Time on the knees can't be misspent.

    TC, I hope your viburnum survives the attack and that your frenzied state of mind settles down. I'll have to tell the story sometime about a funny sermon I heard when we first moved to Paducah. There was a certain directive aimed at dealing with attacks. It had an ambiguity that I know you would appreciate.

    Skeeter, you're not bad. The only reason I know about the Thunderbirds is that I saw them perform when my dad was stationed at an AFB in Germany. And we are now close to the home of the Blue Angels at Pensacola NAS. Regarding the e-mail to SAM: He will get back with you on that next week. Sorry for the delay! Hawaii sounds like fun. A muu-muu dress code is just the ticket.

  15. You seem really into flowers.

    Mr. Write wishes to thank you for leaving a comment on his post about a writers' workshop in Salt Lake City UT. Writing resources have really grown here in the last few years. there are many print on demand publishers you can view on Internet.

    If you want to view any other posts at "Mister Write," do so soon. I'm changing my focus, and "Mister Write" will be deleted in favor of something I feel is more important.

    Thanks again. Your blog is beautiful.

  16. ahh yes, the old gardening with anger injury. It happened at work and led to a groin pull.

  17. Mr. Write, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you like the blog. I'll be sure to pop over and see what you have before it disappears. When you decide what your new blog will be called, let me know so I can bookmark it.

    Wayne, I'm realizing that even if my anger seems "righteous" at the time, it still ends up hurting like hell. Better to let it diffuse a bit before grabbing a gardening implement. I hope your groin injury has mended.