Sunday, May 29, 2005

Vermont perfection

It was supposed to rain all this long Memorial Day weekend. But not so far.

Yesterday was one of those days that made me fall in love with Vermont. Bright sunshine, cool breezes, and black flies that respected my lavish application of Deet. I had to be outside, and I had loads of outside things to do.

The new herb garden—a circular design that makes the former above-ground pool almost worthwhile—is coming together. I’m taking this opportunity to visit local nurseries that have teased my interest for years, and I have some sparkly new dianthus, a look-at-me-wow vanilla allium, and a sample of each nursery’s idea of the ideal lavender to try in the new space.

The dogs are always happy when I spend time with them outdoors. Even Jake comes around, the old Lab the next house down who is alternately their buddy and their arch-nemesis. Max, somewhat recovered from last week’s ills, has happily buried, dug up, and reburied a piece of steak that I judged a bit too old for me to eat. We are still in the “all-the-cookies-you-want” mode, and after reading the current Ever So Humble I got both Max and Toby yet another cookie. Good dogs! How easy it is to lose patience with them, and how quickly they forgive!

The lawn mower is working again, and I have a nice, tidy border mowed all around the vegetable garden, preparation for the July explosion of green matter. The vegetable garden paths are in process, and in deference to the work required to get the new herb garden started, I am not even pretending to dig those raised beds this year. Let’s try the newspaper and straw right on trampled garden soil. Let’s just see. Gardening is a creative act, one experiment after another. The designs that seem so compelling indoors give way to new ideas that burble up while digging proceeds. What if and what if and what if. Some ideas work, and some don’t, and that is just fine.

A nap at midday (must preserve the magnolia blossom look) and another couple of hours in the garden, then it is time to put away tools. Lawn mower. Shovel. Fork. Wheel barrow. Garden plans. Was that a raindrop?

Raindrops gathered into downpour, soothing sounds of rain on the roof, the sun is back out, and there it is. The rainbow. In what I have come to know as the field where rainbows come. Somewhere buried in my brain, there is a line from Goethe that I cannot quite retrieve, but the idea is this. Should we ever experience a moment in which we say, “Stop, moment, thou art so fair…” we will have met heaven on earth, and we will cease to strive toward heaven. It wasn’t quite that moment, but for what it was, it was perfection.


Amy said...

Happy to inspire a bit of dog appreciation today! You've captured the essence of this blissful gardeny time of year.

Robert said...

What a nice day you had. I wish you many more of them.