Monday, May 11, 2009


It's a cruel irony that the most back-breaking work in the garden has to be done at the beginning of the growing season, after you've been sitting around the house all winter reading novels and sipping hot cocoa.

I've been working on breaking up the sod and removing the tangles of rhizomes from the soil. Each one of those little white roots could become a new colony of this very stubborn grass if I leave them. Each clod needs to be shaken out so that there's some soil left for growing vegetables. 

So I've taken it one step at a time. I tell myself, "Just this one area, right here." And I hack away until I have to catch my breath. Pebbles and grass and dirt clods fly through the air, raining down on my head. I finish one area and set a new goal. Every half-hour a new blister blooms on my hands. On the third day of digging, when Chris called to be picked up I hopped in the car, forgetful that I was a living dustball but grateful that I had a reason to quit. After three days of chopping and flinging, I hobbled like I was a hundred years old every time I stood up. Hot dish water felt like an acid bath with all the blisters on my hands. I think it took two full days to fully rehydrate. I kept thinking of the movie "Fight Club." As I walked around in pain in a classroom, I'd think about my broken body and the glory I'd attained in the garden the day before. Rawwwrrrrr!

I can't wait until it's time to relax and just WEED!

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