|Bad, blurry photograph taken to legitimize my existence to you, dear reader, thus proving that I am, in fact, at work|
During the second week of my (genuine, not textual) solitude here, I have committed to putting a new plant in the ground each day, no matter that we're already into July, no matter that I am unable to commit to a place enough to be sure that I won't be in Laos when these things fruit. Or, more likely, that they'll freeze in the middle of fruiting, which breaks my heart every year, and every year I plunge headlong right back into it. Nevertheless: I am planting.
Today I gave in and went to the greenhouse, where seedlings are half-price, which means I am late but not hopeless. The greenhouse, a tubular structure with sheeted plastic flapping in the breeze, was empty save of robust seedlings. I took what I wanted and left my cash beneath a pen near the door. That's a small town for you.
This fall, at least, we will have cucumbers, squash, and peppers, those warm-weather vegetables I always procrastinate starting. And I came home and dug the cucumbers right into the ground. I have so much more ownership being the only one responsible for doing everything—even taping the hose where the lawnmower ran over it, even skewering the sprinkler into the ground, even missing the roots and frying leaves of my plants this morning, despite knowing better. If I don't do it, it doesn't get done, and if I do it badly, that's only my fault, too.
So every day I go dig something into the ground. I use a trowel and s three-pronged pitchfork that probably has a fancier name to dig out weeds. I am combating my tendency to work for twelve hours one day and do nothing for eleven, when I know, truly, that it's better for my soul to work an hour a day for twelve days in a row. Consistency is the magic, ephemeral spell.