I need to walk around my yard more. I almost missed those beauties which are the blossoms of the bromeliads growing in a rooster planter on our dearly departed Elvis's grave. Red and purple together are almost an embarrassment of richness, don't you think?
Today was a day I needed to be outside and that's mostly where I was. I was going to get up and go to Maggie's first hair cut but I overslept and had been having the most godawful dreams and it occurred to me that it was a day for me to rest my soul. I had drained the well of social and human interaction. The dreams were full of much of the same old stuff- a huge house filled with foul garbage and dirty laundry and a filthy kitchen. Somehow it was three o'clock in the morning in this dream and I needed to write a poem for a college exam (about love) and I could not settle down to write until I'd at least tried to clean up some of the horror in the house and there were people everywhere, milling about, who seemed to live there and they were all obviously pigs and not concerned in the least about the state of the house.
The new thing there was the poem- I've never been given that particular dream before and also, my mother and real father were in the dream although neither one of them resembled my parents. My mother refused to listen to me about the state of the house but my father (and this was really weird) did.
"Daddy," I told him, snuggling up a bit to him, "This can't go on. This house is unlivable! And it's all...his...fault."
I meant my stepfather. And my father, who somewhat resembled Wilford Brimley, said, "I know honey, but we're not done with him yet. There are still things we need to get out of him."
And he meant that in some sort of financial way.
Another different part of the dream was that there was one woman there, a young woman, who not only seemed concerned about the state of the house but also managed to create a little order in the garage.
There was another part of the dream where I had to somehow get myself from deep in the woods to Monticello at night without a car and I have no idea where that came from. I don't think we need to consult Freud about much of these dreams but there are parts which mystify me.
But needless to say, I woke up exhausted and defeated and completely unable to drive to town.
So I called Lily and wept a little on the phone telling her that I wasn't coming and I talked to Maggie who was so sweet and she told me she loved me. Lily took pictures and here are a few of them.
Looking at Melissa with eyes of love.
Doesn't she look like a little nun or perhaps a miniature Amish wife?
And that, of course, is the way all of the children's haircuts with Melissa end. Smiles and lollypops. Lily said that she only got a tiny bit trimmed. I swear- if you pull one of those ringlets, the hair goes down past her waist.
So I missed that and I just took it slow, slow. Eventually I went out to the garden. When Lon was here he suggested in the most gentle, kind way that if I thinned my plants more that they might get a little bigger.
"I know," I sighed. "I just have so much trouble doing that. It's painful. And honestly, this is the best I've ever done at thinning."
We looked at the stunted collards spaced approximately four inches apart (they're supposed to be eighteen inches apart) and busted out laughing.
So today I determined to go out there and do some radical thinning.
Well. Okay. I thinned a bit.
Then I did the same for the mustards. And then the carrots and baby arugulas.
Maurice helped me with that.
I discovered that my broccoli is actually making broccoli.
That is so pathetic but it's the best I've got. If I can just keep the worms off it, we will be able to get at least one meal's worth. I do have other plants but this one has the biggest crown on it.
I trimmed all that I had pulled and washed everything.
A sink full of collards.
Truly baby carrots. Aren't they adorable?
So now my refrigerator is filled with fresh goodness including much of the lettuces that Lon brought us from his (decidedly NON-STUNTED) garden. I will cook the greens tomorrow and last night's supper of salad was so good
that I've decided to do it again tonight but with some sliced venison tenderloin that's only been in the freezer for a year and a half.
It'll be fine.
And although I'm tired, my soul feels like it's been recharged to at least one-third of a full battery. I used to get embarrassed about how much socializing exhausted me but now I just accept that that is part of who and how I am. Of course, in some ways, a weekend like last weekend is incredibly enriching and fills parts of my soul that no amount of house-nesting can do. There is no doubt about that.
But then it's time to rest and settle. To untangle and unwind. To be quiet and perhaps kneel in the dirt.
To top it all off, I washed our sheets and pillowcases today although Friday is my usual day. You know why I did that?
Because I could.
It's been so long since I've seen broccoli growing! Lovely.ReplyDelete
I really do hope we get at least one good meal out of it. Broccoli from the garden is completely different than broccoli from the store.Delete
I get it. the whole drain of socializing. I can only take so much. those 3 weeks in Portugal (almost 3 years ago!) exhausted me trying to be social and pleasant and on my best behavior. 30 minutes is generally all I can handle. and yeah, I've been out in the yard the past several days sucking up those happy making microbes though I haven't done much more than cut back dead growth, weed, and today trying to get every bit of cleaver in the yard. I failed but there isn't much more.ReplyDelete
When you were in Portugal I wondered how you managed all of those close quarters. Even if you LOVE the people you're with, it can be difficult.Delete
I think you and I would perish if we didn't have our yards. We need them.
Your garden stories are lovely, thank you. And I completely understand about getting all filled up with social action. Even if you love all the people, it's exhausting and you need to recharge. I get that.ReplyDelete
Exactly what I said above in my comment to Ellen- even if you love people with all of your heart, it can be draining. Some of us just need our alone time more than others, I think.Delete
I can't take much in the social arena either. I love your garden because I can't have one, so small or not, your vegetables look good to me and I know the fresh air and sunlight are a balm for you.ReplyDelete
Oh, they really are, e! Even the dirt makes me happy.Delete
The food looks amazing, as always, and we know about the most beautiful girl already, of course.ReplyDelete
I agree the idea af thinning feels so wrong!
It does but honestly, thinning makes for much happier, healthier, and bigger plants.Delete
You were being kind to yourself - a type of self-healing. Your dream sounds both peculiar and unsettling. It's funny how they seem to evaporate in the morning so that only a tidemark is left - showing where the dream reached.ReplyDelete
I remember my dreams way too often. This morning when I woke up I told my husband that my dreams had actually been "vaguely pleasant." It was a sweet change from the usual!Delete
I think it is so important to accept who one is. It is so rare. The result is, of course, to become unique and interesting. Which you are.ReplyDelete
We all are. Unique and interesting, I think. Mostly, anyway. As Yoko Ono said, "Everyone has a story."Delete
I have a terrible time thinning too. It just seems so wrong and yet I know that it's a good thing.ReplyDelete
I'm not sociable either. I keep meaning to have some friends over for supper but I like the weekend being quiet and a part of me resents having to clean and cook for someone else on the weekend, even though I enjoy their company so much.
Weird dreams are disconcerting. Two nights ago I dreamed that my teeth were falling out. It was graphic and felt so real. WTF. Brains are weird.
Oh god- I've had those teeth dreams many times and they are simply terrible. So bad that I tell myself, even as I am dreaming, that THIS IS A DREAM but it doesn't make it any better. Ugh.Delete
I had those kinds of dreams too. While I was still married I was stuck in a maze or a diamond mine or anywhere where it was difficult to get out - and there were monsters everywhere. Doesn't take a genius to figure out what they meant. But after the divorce I got the kind of dreams you are talking about. The chaos in the dirty house and usually loads of other people around who weren't helping to clean up at all. I put it down to being pulled in all different directions and trying to be all things to all people, and yet if you would have asked me I would say that I truly didn't feel that way. It's weird isn't it, but good for you for taking time out for yourself. It's obviously what your body and soul needed at that time.ReplyDelete
I am sure that your interpretation of the dreams of a filthy house is spot on. I've thought that myself although like you, I don't really feel like I'm being pulled in different directions. I think perhaps it also represents me wanting everything to be nice for all of my loved ones. Which of course is impossible anyway.Delete
I'm so sorry about the dreams. That's a hard way to start the day. You did the right thing by taking it easy at first and then getting yourself out to work in the soil. It's grounding, isn't it? (No pun intended!) I think that broccoli looks pretty amazing. And at least with thinned vegetable seedlings you can eat them. It kills me to thin plants too. Ugh!ReplyDelete
Grounding indeed! And yes- we ate the collard thinnings last night and they were delicious and tender. So no waste, really.Delete
I understand about the socializing. You did the exact right thing, taking care of yourself. The world will still be there, clamoring for you. Loving you.ReplyDelete