I have this summer; I just couldn’t get myself motivated to get out in the garden and take pictures or get excited about anything. It started in early spring with the repairing of our flat roof. It was supposed to be a simple job but turned into the “never-ending story” of home repair. We are not swimming in money to handle all the repairs, and it was, initially, carefully thought out before we started the first tear down of our flat roof in April. All the careful planning in the world can not prepare for what is hidden behind walls. Once it starts it is like a long row of dominoes..tip one and watch them FALL!!!
The first project was to tear off the old roof and place a new pitched roof that would cover our former flat roof that had become a “bathtub” over our garage. It was a simple project that should have been done in a few weeks until they opened a wall. Our home was built-in 1968, and it was covered with dense vines when we purchased it in 1999. I tore off many of the old vines in early 2000 and found cracks on the arches next to the garage. We watched them and mended them over the next 16 years. My husband and I just got busy with raising kids and work. Over the years, we tried to repair those cracks, ourselves, but could never find anyone that did stucco in the Midwest. One time a portion of the concrete wall collapsed, and my husband had to tie it up with a string!
This spring we were thrilled when our contractor found a guy that still did stucco. It was supposed to be a simple stucco repair, and we were surprised when they found behind the cracks, rotten wood. Yep, our wall would have collapsed this year or the next if it was not repaired. I would say someone is watching out for us. This simple project was starting to expand and develop a life of its own. The carpenter had to return and tear the entire front of our house down. The workers were not gardeners, so they destroyed many of the garden beds to get the work done. It was what had to happen and to tell you the truth; I ‘ve been cleaning up ever since. I have not felt much like writing about food growing, or magical moments in the garden.
Yesterday, I went for a delightful bike ride on the river and came home and looked around at the still unfinished gutters, stucco debris, overgrown weeds, destroyed garden beds from builders trampling all my plants. I thought about running inside and hiding. How could my garden that gave me so much comfort all these years become a place that I wanted to escape from now? I pondered is this garden depression??? The very place I find solitude has become a location of frustration. It aggravated me even more that the very place; I replenished my soul was a place I wanted to run away from, how could that be? Instead of running inside, I looked up and noticed a Joe Pye covered with bees that I had planted last year. They were not complaining about how things were not perfect, whining about what it should look like, or what needed to be done. No, they were not complaining.They just were getting on with their daily work. I decided at that moment maybe that was what I needed to do.
I went inside and grabbed a cup of tea and headed out to the garden with Chance, my garden dog by my side. It was a perfect morning to get to work and find myself in my garden. I weeded for several hours, and I noticed that garden depression was disappearing. I sat down and sipped my tea and watched as the hummingbird zipped back and forth between the flowers.
I need my garden. It is the one place in the world that I can replenish my soul and find peace. I need to unplug and just go out there and sit under a tree and listen and watch nature. Our world is so filled with noise that we don’t hear nature anymore.
Today they are redesigning our gutters to redirect the water off our newly designed roof and rebuilt arches. We have been waiting for them for weeks to come since they are backed up due to people who lost their homes during a recent tornado. I thought about how I was frustrated by a little destruction and destroyed garden beds. I felt ashamed that I would be annoyed by trampled plants when there are people who lost “EVERYTHING” in a matter of a few minutes in a tornado.I decided at that moment; I would get back in the garden and be thankful. I remember my mother always saying, “when you are feeling frustrated with life, think of someone who has it tougher and you will stop feeling sorry for yourself.” I have always lived my life by that motto. I just need some reminding sometimes by my native bees that all you have to do is get back to work and do what you need to do. That simple!
Have you ever had this happen?