In honor of both gardening season and David Letterman, actual questions that I think about while gardening.
10. What nefarious creature dug these ankle biting holes? If I fall in one and get injured, how long will it take my family to notice that I'm missing and come looking for me?
9. Why do snakes have no natural fear of me? They seem to have a certain fondness for being wherever I'm at.
8. In light of question 9, would I have ended up in Slytherin at Hogwarts? I find this disturbing and wonder if the snakes know something I don't.
7. In light of question 8, should a grown woman spend this kind of time pondering things like whether or not she would have been sorted into Slytherin or how snakes feel about her?
6. Is that tree full of buzzards waiting for me to fall into one of the holes from question 10? Are they in cahoots with the creatures that dug the holes in the first place?
5. How do hummingbirds get all the calories they need, or any at all, when they spend all their time fighting over the food instead of eating?
4. How do the cats eat around the intestines and brains of small woodland creatures and even leave them connected somehow? This is a level of detail that both disgusts and impresses me.
3. In light of question four, do the cats think I want the still connected brains and intestines for some reason? Do they think I'm going to eat them?? Use them for potions? Wear them as talismans?
2. What kind of nutcase plants English ivy on purpose? Why do I always buy a house from one?
1. After all my work and sweat and long workdays in the garden, why am I not about twenty pounds thinner?
by Julie Carpenter
Sometimes, when I’m walking up the drive in the sun, I find a large flat rock where the gravel has washed away and I stand there. I like to feel it under my feet pushing the heat back from the sun, solid, smooth, being a rock, holding me up. Rocks are hard. They don't move. They don't die...I assume. They just get broken down and worn over a very, very long time. They are as material as material can be. I like that about them.
Still sometimes, I wonder if things would have been better left as thoughts, vaporous free form. All matter might have been left in some sort of eternal flux of choice, not this or that, not one thing or another. Fog and air or shape shifting mist. Pale essence fluttering into almostness forever. Rocks do not agree. They disagree, solidly. They do not have existential crises. If you doubt your own materiality, they will trip you, lodge in your shoe, bang your ankle. Your shovel will hit them when you are trying to plant your Limelight hydrangea. Maybe the handle will break. Rock insist on their own form stubbornly. Sometimes, I would like to rebel against the intractable stones.
But then…I like the feel of that rock. I like the heat that it pushes back at me. I like the opposition. I like to push it with my foot and feel the relentless solidity of it. I am me and the rock is the rock. A limitation. A comfort.
I feel a strange camaraderie with the rock or at least an admiration for its resistance and boundaries. It feels like a friend. And then I realize I’m standing on a rock in the middle of the driveway in the sun, murmuring to it, and I feel like a lunatic. I look around nonchalantly to make sure no one saw me and head back up to the porch to talk to the cats instead.