Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Calling a Spade a Spade

Yesterday I wouldn't have been able to tell you the difference between a Rhododendron and a Creeping Jenny, but as new experiences seem to be the norm for me these days, today I found myself landscaping Concert Katrina's yard.

Gardening has never been of interest to me. I watch my neighbors plant and prune, trim and tweak, and I only think, "Gee, that's pretty." But awhile back, Kat asked if I'd participate in her yard party and I eagerly agreed to help her with the planting of the batrillion perrenials that she and her landscaper friend, Laura, had carefully chosen. When I arrived at her beautiful little cottage this morning, Laura was at work placing pots about and quickly barked instructions for the removal, division and placement of said plants. I donned my sunscreen, grabbed a shovel and got to work.

Watching Laura visualize the future of each flower, who its neighbor should be and what the combination of color, texture and height was astonishing. What a gift she saw in herself, developed into a passion then translated into a profession. She was visibly moved as she watched her vision transform itself into something tangible and permanent.

As the day wore on, we lost helper Marshall and landscaper Laura, but Katrina and I continued digging and placing, watering and preening (and maybe a couple of mudball fights). I was astonished at the joy I felt each time I spied an earthworm or tangled with a stubborn root and was sad to leave after five hours of hard work.

In the spirit of learning something from each new person and experience I encounter, here's what I'm taking from today's adventure:
1. Don't wear shoes with treads when walking through mud
2. Bend your knees
3. When applying sunscreen, don't forget that part of your back that peeks out between your shirt and your shorts

So now I dig gardening. Not enough to tackle my existing yard, but invite me over, hand me a spade and a Hosta and I'll happily get to work.

I think I could get used to stepping out of my comfort zone.

No comments: