The creation of life is wet and messy
March 25th, 2023
What is this in the photo above? Well, this is a big pile of wet leaves. And why is there? It is because I raked it there doing spring cleaning in the garden. And why is it wet? That is because it rained heavily last night. And did I have to clear it and put it in garbage bags today and not some other time? Well, I could wait for drier weather — but I just couldn't stop myself from getting down and dirty working in the garden even though everything was wet and there were a LOT more piles of leaves and dead grass like that and now my back hurts like hell. And yet, I sit in my chair now, grinning like a madman with perverted satisfaction (and muscle aches as well) — I did my part for the first time this season to help nature in my garden grow and expand and get ready for the spring rebirth.
Of course, I am kidding myself with this grandiose view of the importance of me and my actions. My garden would continue to grow and living things there would continue to multiply and take care of themselves without me lifting a finger, or even being there at all. Maybe it would grow even better without my meddling around. But with my work — I shape my garden the way I want to see it, I create a contained landscape within the fences to my ideas and expectations. Of course, I am constrained by the shape and soil and old trees already there and plants that expanded over the years into a deep and gordian-like tangle of intertwined branches and roots I wouldn't dare to touch or alter. But I do what I can and what I allow myself (like I will not touch an old bench there that is an eyesore but it was built by my grandfather). I, by the work of my hands, create the shape of the land and help nature grow to my liking and my pleasure by planting and trimming and cutting and tilling and raking and fertilizing.
And getting dirty and wet and muddy and sweaty and tired and out-of-breath and lightheaded doing that. But now, after cleaning myself and washing the floor (of course I brought mud inside with me) and getting all my dirty clothes into the wash I can bask in the pure satisfaction that comes from hard work and creating and laying the foundation for nature. I still can smell the tangy and pungent smell of the fresh soil, just touched with a spade and caressed with a rake. I still can smell the dirty decay of wet old leaves and grass and mud. I still can smell the naturalness of every living thing from the garden. I can smell the new life just bursting out after seasonal slumber. And for the first time this spring, I did my duty of being a part of the circle of life.