Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Remembering Mama's Garden

Toledo Cats
My favorite part of springtime is getting down and dirty. I mean kneeling in the dirt, working compost into the soil, planting seeds, and nurturing my plants. It wouldn't be May if I didn't have dirt under my nails and mud on my knees. Mama was the same way.

I miss those days of working shoulder to shoulder with my mama, pulling weeds and listening to the fairies chatter away. Mama could hear them too, although she never let on. She just sang softly to herself, every now and then pausing to tell me the name of an herb and what it's used for.

We had every kind of herb in our garden, growing stem to stem with flowers, fruits and vegetables. Not each item in a row, but all mixed up together. A symphony of colors and fragrance. That's one of the reasons kneeling down was so much fun. As we crawled along, pulling weeds and smashing unwanted insects, the scent of basil, garlic, petunia, rosemary, chives, roses, onion, fennel, lavender wafted up around us, changing as we made our way around the courtyard.

Of course we left some weeds alone. Some weeds like the dandelion can be useful. Even stinging nettle has its place. But there's a reason people say "She's growing like a weed." Weeds grow faster than any other plant, so we had to thin them out to leave room for the other plants to grow.

Just like I thin them out now -- working side-by-side with Mama. Sure, we never put our hand down on the same weed like we used to long ago. But she's with me, still telling me which weeds to pull and which to leave alone, still whispering little known facts about this herb or that one, still singing softly to herself, accompanied by the fairies. This is a Blog Hop! Make sure to visit our fellow bloggers