I'm most recently a writer. In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot. As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades. An unwilling transplant from the South, twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US. Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect. When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do. Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!
Sunday, June 15, 2014
When we moved to this old house almost fifteen years ago, there was nothing but grass. Not a single sprig that could be described as landscaping. I started small, claiming ground at one corner of the house where once a wraparound porch had stood. The soil was thick, black and sticky--the material sod houses were built of when this part of the country was settled. As I dug--increasing the size little by little each year--I fought crabgrass and good old-fashioned weeds of every obnoxious variety, working in peat moss and manure until eventually the soil stopped resisting and began to cooperate. Together, that plot of virgin soil and I brought forth an abundance of color and scent, a place where hummingbirds visited in the spring and the Monarch butterflies tanked up for their flight south late each summer.
I was overly ambitious. Today the garden is almost too much for me to handle alone. I've moved away from annuals to perennials and bulbs, which require far less digging and will in time fill the space with colors and textures without so much help from me. And I've taken on a helper. It turns out my granddaughter likes digging too. It's quite possible that just as I did, she understands on some level that this communion with the soil is more than just dirty, sweaty work, and that the rewards are infinitely more than just a few bright blooms. If I could pass anything along to her, there's nothing I know of that will bring her more pleasure or provide her with a better way to "keep things in perspective."