I have abandoned the idea of having a garden this summer. Sort of. Well, to be honest, I revisit the idea several times a day and abandon it all over again with a lot of struggling and self-talk. In March, my vision was to expand our garden significantly from what it was last year now that the girls are old enough to help out and have more fun with it. I drew outlines, made lists of vegetables to plant, daydreamed about rigging up drip-systems and soaker hoses buried under the mulch. I called the local equipment rental shop to inquire about the cost of using a tractor for a day to till a huge plot, and I considered different ways to get rid of the sod in the spot where I envisioned my bountiful garden.
In March, it rained. April was monsoon season, and by May, I had still not managed to reserve a tractor or remove the sod, so I reluctantly put off the garden expansion until next year. The girls were getting excited about summer camps and they are in school until June 22nd, anyway, so I wasn't sure how much time we'd have to actually plant and weed and nurture our garden in the end. When Mother's Day dawned sunny and gorgeous and I was forced to begin filling the bird feeders on a daily basis to keep up with the ravenous appetites of our winged neighbors, I reconsidered. Again, after looking at the calendar for June - weekends full of birthday parties and Father's Day events and dance recitals - I put the garden aside for another year.
We have had two solid weeks of sunshine and hot weather. My peonies are the showiest they've ever been. The birds are staying away from my strawberries for once and the herb garden is growing out of bounds. Abundance surrounds me and instead of satisfying myself with that, I long to get my hands dirty planting snow peas and watermelon and cucumbers. Several times a day, I walk past the spot I've come to know as "the garden" on my way to the doggie septic tank. Each time I slow down and run options through my mind, trying to see a clear way to make the vegetable patch a reality this summer. Every time I have to force myself to remember that I put it aside in order to simplify my life this summer. I have a tendency to see any idle moment as something wasteful. The need to fill my days with activity and purpose is one I'm trying to overcome.
Instead, I will change my vision to one of me sitting on the back porch with a glass of pinot grigio watching the neighbor kids swoosh down the slip 'n' slide in our backyard, rinsing off the sticky residue from the Otter Pops they've just consumed. I'll take my kids to the local farmer's market to get our sweet carrots and cucumbers and we'll plan for next year. I think.