Today marks the vernal equinox, and looking out at my garden, I’m eager to get outside and be a part of the day by getting my hands dirty.
The air over the past few days has been soft with warmth, spiced with the scents of new grass and turned earth, sweet with birdsong.
My garden and I will be engaging in our usual dialogue, the one that starts when the snow melts and goes on until the snow starts falling again, usually some time in December.
It’s not a one-sided conversation; the garden talks more than I do, tells me what it wants or doesn’t want, and I try to come up with a witty or timely response. We don’t always speak the same language, and I know that’s my fault.
Cutting down a line of long grasses yesterday, I found the winter nest of some small mammal hidden beneath a particularly imposing clump. There was a thick ball of moss, leaves and grass that had been a home. I had just been telling myself that I should cut back these grasses in autumn for a tidier look; now I’ll be sure to leave them long as an invitation.
I’d like to think I have some say in shaping the garden. Often enough, the garden laughs me off and does as it pleases. Mostly, the garden shapes me.
I wouldn’t call us friends, because I impose myself on the hospitality of this small space. I try to listen. I try to be companionable. I don’t always succeed.
I suppose that’s true for my life outside the garden, too. We are a work in progress.