A garden seems like a simple thing - turn the soil, plant the seed, let the sun shine, and wait. Then the sun shines and warms the earth. The early risers spring into action, but where are the corn and beans? A healthy crop of weeds tangle each row. Pull the thistle, kochia, grass and armfulls of unknown citizens. Finally, in the clean spaces, the corn and beans lift their heads. Squash, carrots, beets, and chard stretch upward and touch the sun.
Now the competition has begun. In each row, like painted lanes for a race, they jump into action. Weeds take the early lead in one row, while vegetables inch forward in another. So the summer proceeds. The hares-pace weeds always outdistance the tortoise stride of the produce. So I sit and watch the race...and weed. The removal of some doesn't seem to change the race much. There always comes a replacement hopping into action. The crops now strong and tall, dwarf the speedy weeds, putting every ounce of energy into growth. It just takes time, patience, and faith that the race will go to those who wait and weed.
Watering the Garden
The cool, clean stream of water
began its course down the row.
In the early morning light
the sun painted it silver-gold.
Like molten metal it flowed.
The thirsty soil clutched
and pulled at it.
So slowly the ribbon unrolled;
edges tripped and crawled
forward over piled grains.
The gentle curl of glass
wound around clumps of rock-hard clay
and lifted a leaf and carried an ant
on its back.
The saturated earth, now black,
pushed the stream on -
reaching, stretching, soaking
Finally, at row's end,
the burnished trail shone brightly
from splashing entry to placid pool.
Its march now complete.
July 10, 2009