Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You know who he is?

Friends J&N came over and made eggs benedict.  That's my fresh local organic rye bread in foreground.  Yes, I do like to brag about my bread.  Also generic Thai sriracha on the condiment tray, garlic hanging in the window, Aroostook potatoes in the cast iron, and K&N making hollandaise.  Good times.

K. and I drove to Marion yesterday, for a vacation among family, an extended vacation, which, if everything goes according to plan will take me Rhode Island, Illinois, a road trip to Chattanooga, and then a second road trip back to Camden, Maine, via Maryland.  That's the plan, at least.  We came bearing a van full of produce:  whole kale plants upended in buckets full of water, bags full of chard, carrots, turnips.  We came towing the dory, as yet officially unnamed, which I'm hoping we'll get to sail across to Martha's Vineyard (she says, half tongue-in-cheek) even though I'm still on the DL, limping along and unable to lift heavy objects with my right arm.  Or light objects from high or low places.

Nonetheless.  I refuse to allow it to stop me anymore, although it did exactly that for three months.  Although it also, essentially, took the harvest.  As usual, I'm realizing how much guilt has power to take the garden away from me, and pretty much, once July rolls around, guilt is a constant in the garden.  Everywhere I look, I see all of the things I could have done, all of the things I haven't done, all of the things that have gone by.

Harvesting the day we left was the same.  I strolled past at least a dozen cucumbers, left out for the frost, that I could smoosh with the tip of my toe.  I cut a bag of beautiful rainbow chard, not affected by frost, vivid orange and dark red, not a leaf of which we'd eaten.  Head upon head of cauliflower left brown and unpickled.

It's enough to bring on despair, and it did, for several months.  I don't know how many summers it'll take for me to learn the lesson that doing something small is better than doing nothing.  Or maybe I really did need three months of absolute rest.


Anonymous said...

Guilt over God-given abundance, despair over not being able to suck all the marrow out of life--powerful thoughts that get me pondering. I often think of how Paul says he has learned to be content in fallow seasons, but he also says he learned to be content in times of plenty. Perhaps both are equally hard.

Melissa said...

I keep coming back to the farmer who told me: we can't do anything 100 percent. Maybe it's just something we've lost in our culture, as we've distanced ourselves from the earth. I wish I could convince myself that it's the guilt itself that's corrosive, that it's guilt that takes me away from God. Every tomato, every bean is a gift, if I can subtract the guilt.