A picture never really captures a thing. Anyone who has ever attempted to freeze an adoring glance knows that the feelings that attach themselves to such glances in the moment do not attach themselves through the wiry spindles in the backs of the eyes. You can take a million photographs of the thing you love, but your eyes will never do more than trigger a memory, and memory itself is subject to so many wishful (or despondent) moods. The only answer is to be present and always present, to always have your nose deep in a flower, to suck in what good air there is around you and to know how good that air is whilst you suck. I am, of course, losing myself a bit here. I have come home from a long vacation, and I have weeded and tended my garden profusely today. Such is the pleasure of returning home to a garden. There is so much catch-up work to do. If my garden wasn't such a demanding animal, I would leave it more often, but one must always strike a balance between that which he loves and that which he loves even more. There are two sides to every scale, and he who balances them does best.
I must confess that I am slightly drunk, though I should say that I am primarily drunk on gardening and weather. There are seabirds in my memory and, more recently, fresh asphalt and raw pine timbers in the hills of western Massachusetts. I spent most of the day gathering plants by the fistful and slashing through those fistfuls with my knife. Piles and piles of weeds. Piles and piles of dill and chamomile. I had moved from the mid-Atlantic to the north-Atlantic. What had been the vapor of a thought behind a mallet and a pile of crab shells became a pile of greens that smelled like chlorophyll. I gathered up pounds of dill and cinched them with plastic twine. As the day progressed from 7:30 AM to noon, I watched my California poppies open. I pulled garlic and tied back plants. Ruthlessness has as much to do with gardening as does care. When there is work to be done, you just rip rip rip. It isn't about saving every precious green thing. It's about selecting which green things you want to thrive and which you want to die, but a dead plant is only more compost, and compost is god.