After a gentle, soaking rain this morning, we went outside to survey the farm and accept some of the afternoon’s unexpected sunshine. It was warm, but in the shade still plenty comfortable. My husband loaded the spool of the weedeater and started tracing clean lines around every raised bed, sidewalk, and rock border. This makes us both so happy. Clean edges are heaven.
I fed the animals, played fetch with Klaus, and started pulling weeds from inside those edges. So many weeds lately, everywhere you look. The lushness of our summer weather extends to all forms of life at the Lazy W.
I mentally celebrated the rambling hyacinth bean vines and vibrant gomphrena and zinnias, gave thanks for the tomatoes and basil, and got a jolt of early excitement thinking of the seeds that were planted yesterday, in the bare earth where all forms of zucchini vines had been. (I do hate squash bugs.)
Then I saw the daylilies. They seem to have stopped blooming too early this year, and that’s a shame because they are normally so tall and gorgeous, such a deep, electric shade of orange. Lately, I see only the decapitated stalks, sometimes hanging onto a withered dry bloom, the plants’ brown leaves falling exhaustedly downward. Too early.
I started combing away the dead parts, gloveless, and scooping them into my wheelbarrow already full of weeds and dead stuff. My hands went after the task easily, twisting and pulling old lilies from the pliant earth.
I caught sight of one fistful of green and brown and realized it was not lilies. I was pulling grass, too. But a foot or two up, the grass looked and felt so much like the daylilies that I hadn’t noticed. I threaded my way up and down and forested through the flower bed to see exactly what was growing and where.
I was kind of stunned to see how much grass was choking out the daylily stands, but also relieved. Maybe cleaning everything out would rejuvenate the flower bed.
The thing that really stuck with me was how similar the grass felt to the flowers. An uninvited imitator, a fraud. And one that had gone undetected for a while yet was easily uprooted.
It all leaned hard into my thinking lately about cultivating. Pulling up what doesn’t belong to make room for what does. Cultivating. Feeding what you want to grow. Eliminating what no longer serves you. I couldn’t stop smiling as those grassroots popped out of the damp earth and sprinkled dirt on my face and arms.
Cultivate our homes, our work environments. Our routines. Our work products, after all. Our diets. Our social media feeds. Our reading material. Our schedules.
Cultivate our relationships. Our friendships, family bonds, romances, all of it.
I adore the idea of cultivating our lives in every way. To my thinking, it all comes down to the smallest things. For all the big planning we do, all the garden architecture and herculean seasonal efforts, sometimes we need to kneel down and feel each thing by hand, no gloves, face to face with the details. Uproot the bad habits in the exact moments that you see them and make the yes/no choices one at a time, slowly and mindfully.
So that all the things we do want more of have all the space they need to flourish.
Just some food for thought on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon.
“We must cultivate our own garden.
When man was put in the garden of Eden
he was put there so that he should work,
which proves that man was not born to rest.”