Jesus Christ, I didn't even realize that today was the solstice but I guess it is.
I just went out and worked in the garden for about an hour and I've about soaked my hair through again with sweat. And it's six o'clock in the evening.
My garden is so out of hand right now that I want to torch it. Burn the fucker to the ground. Instead, I dig the shovel into weeds that go down about a foot in root and up about two feet in stem. Then I pull. Then I knock the dirt off and throw the weed in the wheelbarrow. After an hour of this, the wheelbarrow is full and I've cleared approximately three square feet.
Only about a hundred square feet left to go.
This is a damn fool's errand and all I have to figure out is how big a fool I am.
The tomatoes aren't doing squat. I don't know if we planted the wrong kind this year or what. The only ones that are really coming in good are tiny pear-shaped yellow ones that aren't sweet enough to bother picking. I am completely over-run with the yard long beans. I have one eggplant about ready to pick and a whole lot of banana peppers. One jalapeno. One.
The okra may come on, I can't tell.
Is this worth it?
I don't even know but I sincerely doubt it.
I spent a good while on my walk yesterday picking blackberries so of course I didn't have on my gloves or long pants and so now I have scratched up arms, hands, and legs. All for about another cup of berries.
It's like I have the genes of a gatherer woman but I don't have the will or skill. And once again, I have to say that the people who lived in Florida back in olden times, whether those people were the original inhabitants back in the thousands-ago days or whether they were the early pioneers here of European and African ancestry- those were the hardiest, stubbornest, cocksuckery meanest motherfuckers ever to walk the planet. The ones that survived, anyway.
And I ain't one of those.
All right. That's my Summer Solstice in North Florida post.
What did you expect from me? Some new-age bullshit about the alignment of the planets and stars? Well, forget it.
Sure is pretty though, the way the sun's slanting rays are lighting up the phlox. The way the zinnias are shining like fireworks, caught by stems and held fast. Sure is nice to see the chickens strutting along the fence, finishing up their day's scratch-dancing in search of food, making their way to the waterer for one last sip before bed.
I'm not complaining. I AM a fool and I know it and even if I don't get the garden under any sort of control, we still eat some out of it. Tonight there will be green beans and potatoes. Last night there were roasted tomatoes and peppers made into a sort of pizza on a whole grain crust. With a lot of basil and I need to remember to make some pesto.
So happy Solstice. Here's to all the people who lived through the Florida sumer heat and snakes and bugs and disease and panther and bear all those years ago and here's to the ones who still try and here's to John Gorrie who invented the ice machine and the air conditioner and here's to the berries, the cold springs and sink holes, the swift-running rivers the color of iced tea, the deep shade of the live oaks, the sweet brim, the magnificent oily mullet who jumps and no one knows why even now. Here's to the white-tailed deer and the whistling hawks and the hooting owls and the Mississippi Kites that soar almost to heaven, so high the eye loses them. Here's to the redbird perched on the pecan limb and the blue-tailed skinks who live under my back steps and here's to the magnolia grandaflora and here's to all the crazy motherfuckers who love all of it as much as I do.
Hell yeah, it's hot.