Here I sit, all broken-hearted.
I thought I was done, but, no, I've just started.
Fifty hours of service (at least!) to give,
And ten hours in plant clinic--
Will I live?
I'll know in December if they think I'm okay.
After reading this post,
What would you say?
From a gardener's perspective, how in the world could I be broken-hearted when the Knockout roses are blooming in synch with this Oenothera (showy evening primrose) in my garden?
Well, there's this seed experiment I participated in. We received these large beans to plant in various growing media, using different methods to induce germination. The beans have a very hard seed coat, and the only two that have sprouted after two weeks are the one that was soaked in vinegar (all the way on the left)...
...and this sorry specimen, which was beaten severely with a hammer. Mechanical manipulation of the seed coat in this case went terribly wrong. I literally beat the daylights out of it. To make matters worse, I can't remember what these plants are. Yesterday was my last MG class, and I left my notebook with the name of the plant written on it in the classroom. At least I think I did. I might have left it outside when we were looking for mole crickets amid signs of armadillo damage to the turf grass. Somewhere between the soap flush test for mole crickets and the goodbyes to fellow classmates, I set down that notebook with four months' worth of notes and forgot it, along with the name of this plant. Oh well! I may never find the notebook, but I will see those classmates again. We have a project to complete by mid October and much planning to do before it's done. I may be mentally rapping myself in the head with my knuckles over the mangled seed and misplaced notebook, but I'm not broken-hearted because of them.
If I don't get these trees in the ground pretty soon, one of those classmates may not speak to me again. She gave me these native swamp chestnut oaks and bald cypress trees last week with the understanding that I would plant them ASAP. It was beautiful outside yesterday, and those trees should have been planted. What did I do after class yesterday morning? I sat on the front porch swing, noting the drive-by snooters--people who stare, stop to pull a spec sheet from the "For Sale" sign box in the front yard, and drive on by--and kept on looking at the trees in the bucket. I was imagining what they would look like twenty years from now. You see, I can do that now without regret. We haven't sold the house, and we are taking it off the market, at least until the market is more favorable. If it takes a few years, so be it. At least I'll get to see these trees grow and thrive. So I'm not broken-hearted about having to leave my home for good.
We sold the kayak after that last trip on Lake Talquin. It wasn't because we don't like it. On the contrary, it's been one of the best boats we've ever owned--no fossil fuel required!--and we have enjoyed every minute we spent pedaling and paddling it. It's just that it weighs more than two aging people can easily handle without injuring themselves. I'm not sure if I'm broken-hearted about selling the thing or the fact that my back ain't what it used to be. No; I'm not exactly broken-hearted about the kayak.
Last weekend while I was visiting SAM in Tallahassee, probably while we were enjoying ourselves on a hike, Son was having his "best friend" put to sleep. Rocky came into our family about 15 years ago when he showed up at Son's workplace. He was a stray, and I resisted adopting yet another pet for a while. It didn't take long, though, for Rocky to wriggle his roly-poly self into our hearts. This love for the mutt somehow developed despite the fact that he loved to dig, uprooting many of my plants, and also managed to kill several trees over the years by urinating on them. He was especially fond of evergreens for some reason. Over the past decade and a half, I must have walked Rocky enough to go at least halfway around the planet. Then a few years ago, he developed a dog's version of arthritis and lately several painful tumors on his legs and feet, making it difficult for him to walk at all. He became anorexic. It was time to let him go. Yes; he was just a dog, but he kept me company on all of those walks. Even in mostly flat Florida, it was uphill all the way for him, listening in silence and wagging his tail while I griped, grumbled, and complained about things, sometimes even out loud! He never judged me, not once, not at all.
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.
--a poem by Christina Rossetti, 1858--