Lots and lots of labor
Labor that leaves me feeling
exhausted and satisfied.
Drifting into the past,
thinking about our last home
and the lovely gardens.
I remember saying goodbye
to the garden as we prepared
to leave for the last time.
I remember the tears
of farewell to the garden -
a place of labor and joy
and a respite from the world.
And, then I remember
the tears of farewell
I've spent the last four days watching the many birds who fly through our suburban backyard. Two years ago two of the neighbors behind us cut down their large trees and another neighbor followed suit this past summer. I was afraid that was the end of the birds in our yard.
How long has humankind spent trying to control and manipulate nature? I like to think I am learning to live more in tune with nature but I'm discovering how far I have to go.
I sit this morning watching a hummingbird in the bed just off the patio. Last year at this time, I was working madly to create a food forest. I started by spacing out fruit and nut trees in our suburban backyard and then creating lasagna layered beds around the trees to put in berries, herbs and flowers to attract beneficial and native species.
I've worked hard over the past couple of weeks to pull weeds, tie up sprawling plants and create some sense of order in the garden. There seems to be this fine line I'm walking. On the one hand, the goal is to create a food forest that is also welcoming to wildlife. On the other hand, I have a lot of years of garden perfection to overcome. I've seldom gotten the yard perfect but it's always been the goal. Now, my goals have changed and I'm challenged to let go of the perfection.
I've been cleaning up the garden for spring. I decided last fall to leave the last of the spent perennials to overwinter for the insects and birds. As a result, we've had lots of birds all winter. Now it's time toclean it up. My goal this year is to start sheet composting in all of my garden beds. With sheet composting, the debris is placed back on the garden where it falls with the possible addition of other organic matter throughout the year.
EcoCircles is about creating sustainable habits in our backyards. But what does it truly mean to be sustainable? As I'm washing dishes, I reflect on the soap I am using and the running water. Or, there's the soap and shampoo I use when I shower. There are so many ways we are connected into a consumer model of society, the choice to be more sustainable seems like an endless battle. So, where do we start.
I was out in the garden today pulling weeds and placing mulch around the flowers in my shade garden when the sound of guitar came floating over the fence. Our neighbor was playing these gentle melodies, perhaps to pass the time away or maybe to relieve the stress of his day.
Copyright © 2017, Victoria Polmatier
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