Saturday, June 1, 2013

pull out early

I had to prematurely pull some shallots today to make room for the winter squash starts I will plant in a couple days.  I planted the shallots in a rush last fall—in a rush and in the ground—and I wasn't thinking about the future when I did so.  Or perhaps I was thinking about the future—I don't remember.  I did plant the shallots in an out-of-the-way spot on the edge of the garden, but the spot was not out-of-the-way enough, and so today I pulled some of the shallots up.  Some of them are still in the ground.  It doesn't matter.  What really matters when you are happy?  I puttered around in the garden.  I pulled some shit early.  "And then He Kissed Me" by the Crystals played in my head.  The weather was hot.  It felt fucking good.  

Sometimes it's not so bad to pull out early.  Other times I guess it is.  Things apparently totally depend on the situation.  Pulling some shallots out early was no big deal this year.  Another year it could have broken my heart.  A gardener can go mad planning for the future.  A gardener can also go mad when life and the forces of nature have their way with his plans.  We apparently can't control everything.  It's apparently important to know what can and should be controlled, what's worth attempting to control, and what's totally pointless and dumb to bother attempting to control.  Like, I wouldn't try to control all of China.  Can you imagine how exasperating that would be?  Gardening is good because it teaches you when to clutch and when to release, when to cling and when to say, Bye baby.  It's also good because it brings new people into your life.  A garden can be a nexus.  A garden cannot be a cheap bottle of shampoo.  It's good to know what a garden can and cannot be.  It's good to be alive and know it.  

The shallots I pulled this afternoon were alive when I pulled them, and they are still alive now.  I suppose they will be dead in a few days, and I suppose I too shall be dead eventually.  We all gotta go sometime.  In the meantime, though, it helps to think about what that word really means.  In the vegetable world, the line between life and death is not so clearly drawn.  Big agri-businesses do seek to draw it more clearly, and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, but on the whole it's harder to pronounce a mammal dead than it is, say, a shallot.  Anyway, at the moment I am in love with this world and happy to be among the living.  Humans are funny that way.  Can a shallot happily muse about death when it is erect in the June sun?  Probably not.  But they are great on salads.  I think I'll have a salad now.  

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