Saturday, July 16, 2011

Now here comes the preacher

Beets today in the garden. You can see rocky the soil is here, and also how I'm not such a good weeder.

It was 81 degrees out today—yay. I have such a hard time on these sunny days. I feel like I should be spending every waking hour outside, in as much sun as I can find, soaking up all of it, but that means not being inside my office, where the work that’s most important to me takes place. I always feel that cognitive dissonance, wanting to be indoors and outdoors at the same time. That's one of the things about writing—it’s an indoor sport.

The thing is to do it like the farmers say: early to bed and early to rise. As another adage goes: easier said than done. I’d love to be one of those people, like my Papou the writer, who woke at dawn. I once read that National Geographic only publishes photographs taken at dawn or dusk. So if you don’t wake up at dawn, you’re halving your chances.

But I don’t believe in that crap. I wake up when the sun slants across my ankles, or as close to it as my dreams will let me. And then I come to my little sun room and put some words into the computer. Sometimes they are good words. Sometimes they are bad words.

As now, when I have been to the top of the hill celebrating the midsummer full moon a day late, the first, and last, of the true summer. I’m told it just gets colder from here on out. I don’t believe it, not yet. But it’s possible. I’m no longer supposed to plant endive, according to my book.

I suppose I’m spending enough time outdoors. I spent an hour in the garden this afternoon, getting sun on my shoulders and waging war against the cucumber beetles and deer flies, weeding the pepper plants and putting in another row of radishes. The garden’s beautiful, and brings me more joy than almost anything on a sunny day. But it’s still hard not to feel this conflict. The mornings I spend inside, and as much bravery as I have for the rest of the day outside.

5 comments:

Ellen D. said...

Check out this page from Thomas Jefferson's garden 'kalendar'. Look at how many things and his success rate. I don't think the man was deterred by 'failure' :)

http://www.masshist.org/thomasjeffersonpapers/cfm/doc.cfm?id=garden_35&numrecs=28&archive=garden&hi=on&mode=&query=carrots&queryid=&rec=6&noimages=&start=1&tag=text&user=

Melissa said...

Good to hear. Does that mean if I keep going with my garden kalendar, I'll eventually achieve the colossal success of founding a country? I keep remembering the little lettuce seedlings you brought me last year and how they failed... At least I've learned some things.

wfrenn said...

If you intend to spend the winter in your least favorite climate, you will soon have plenty of time for writing indoors. I just hope you are not too phototropic.
Can you say more about K? I like him.

Capt'n

Melissa said...

I'm not sure if I'll make it through a winter in this climate, although if I do, I'll have plenty of time for writing. Which is one of the points of being up here. Nonetheless, I may need a break come December.

I, too, would like to tell more of K's story, but it is his own to share...

wfrenn said...

For "K":

Hey "K,"
Share your story. Give us a break. Melissa's story is only half of the saga. C'mon.

The Capt'n