We learn early in life that everyone has responsibilities and the person with a c’est la vie attitude was either born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth or just doesn’t give a whit about what other people think. Well, I’m not here to chastise anyone in particular, but I just want to kibitz a bit about Mother Nature, Noah and some of God’s creatures. I think it is important to note that Mother Nature is messing up badly. She’s shirking her sun-time responsibilities of late. Instead of giving us warm, sunny days here in Michigan, she is substituting Florida’s tropical heat, humidity and daily rain or storm, just minus the hurricanes, for our climes. Just sayin’.
I hit the pavement early this morning as a warm-up to another backyard adventure. I thought a quick two and a quarter mile trip to Wyandotte would suffice for exercise before I came home and tried to tame the beast, er weeds, and neaten up my perennials and rosebushes. Well, no one was out that early – sure, they were sitting having breakfast in the air-conditioned house. My Wyandotte trek takes me past a tiny branch of the Ecorse Creek, and as I got closer I saw a fish fly, or two or more. Soon I lost count. I was wearing cream-colored pants and a light-colored shirt making me a virtual fish fly magnet. Within a few minutes a few wayward fish flies were clinging to my shirt. I flicked them off and they, or their buddies, boomeranged back and soon were hanging on for dear life to the length of my leg. Ewwwwww. Perhaps they wanted to go back to Lincoln Park with me. Unlike creepy-crawlies, I’m cool with fish flies, but I’d like to admonish Noah for thinking he should perpetuate these odd-looking insects who are born and die within a twenty-four hour period. I’m shaking my head at Noah’s lack of common sense as regards these insects. Notwithstanding the fish flies, I kept heading toward the river and collected a few more before turning around for the return trip.
When I got home, I headed straight to the backyard. The combination of heat, humidity and constant rain for two weeks straight made my weeds grow like crazy. I figured weed picking would be a cinch since the dirt and mulch was so saturated, and I guessed correctly. I got most of the weeds in record time and then I needed to hone in on the dreaded choke vine. Since my last entanglement with the choke vine, I found it now had a stranglehold on my Cone flowers and had wound its merry way once again through my Nelly Moser clematis. Now, this is no small chore separating the Clematis tendrils from the choke vine tendril, both who were in a dead heat to reach the top of the trellis, clinging to one another and wrapped around each of the ornate, wrought-iron curlicues. I would liken this garden chore to straightening out the mini-Christmas lights, which somehow always get tangled on their own since you pulled them off the gutter last year with freezing cold fingers and jammed them into their box.
The mosquitoes were flitting all over the yard, a result of the heavy quarter inch of rain last night and the ninety-three percent humidity this morning. A contingent of mosquitoes bombarded my ears with their incessant buzzing and I kept slapping and swatting alternately to no avail. I query why God made mosquitoes and also why He chose to give the female mosquito the bad rap, since male mosquitoes don’t bite. Noah, hear me out on this … I think you should have been more selective as to invitees to the ark; perhaps you could have looked the other way and left these pests behind.
My roses have been blooming profusely but most of the petals were spent from this wicked weather. I deadheaded and pruned my roses until my wrists ached and I was convinced I must have carpal tunnel syndrome. Please someone remind me why gardening was once my passion? As I crumpled down the yard waste bag, my eye caught the weather-worn slate placard that proclaims “one is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth” and then I chastised myself for railing at Mother Nature, et al. (If you will scroll to the end of this post you will find and enjoy this verse in its entirety.)
Okay, perhaps the morning was not so bad after all and I came away with a feeling of peace and bliss (and alot of sweat). I finished up as quickly as I could so I could get inside where it was cool. My reward for completing my self-imposed “honey do” list was two very large melon “smiles”.
ONE IS NEARER GOD’S HEART IN A GARDEN THAN ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH.
THE Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.
So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.
And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,–
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.
~~~~Dorothy Frances Gurney