28 down and 2 to go. My oh my how four weeks can run by in a flurry.
And here we are, once again.
This is still National Poetry Month, and it has been my honor to take part in something of significance that honors a form of writing that I am so fond of. Like the seasons that wrap around the calendar, writing has found a way to wrap around my billy goat soul. It helps me to realize how many things there are out there that I cherish more than I know.
One of those things is gardening, which I never thought I would ever get a chance to do after I lost my vision. Back in the summer of 2010, we had one of the best gardens that we have ever had out here on the ridge. My wife took charge of the reins that year and helped the season to bring us probably the best harvest season we had ever had. It was a hard year, but with her efforts, the wicker baskets were rounded full with a splendor that I will remember forever.
In the summer of 2013, I was given the opportunity to dig my fingers back into the soil with a dear friend of mine. It was hard at first, but after a few hours down in the dirt, the sweet, sweet dirt, I quickly remembered everything that I love about gardening. It was one of the best summers I have ever lived, and it brought me back to a level of independence that I could never have been able to afford.
I love to garden. I love to grow. I love to listen to the plants speak and sing their songs. I love the sound of the summer breeze whistling down through the rows of planted life. I love it and I hope you like the following poem.
A slow, spring thaw brings with it a welcoming sight
Battered row and beaten hill applaud the warming days of May
Last years withered vines slowly give way to steel tine
Moist coolness caresses tired spirit and replenishes a searching soul
Senses come alive with sweet aromas of freshly turned earth
Dig down deep with anxious hands and clutch the moistened dirt
Like old family remedies, the feel of earth soothes a growing heart
Loosening, fertilizing, sowing away under the rays of the day
Promising of new growth, the planted seed take their place, row on row
With crafted care, mounds, hills and beds slowly take their shape
Stretching from seed, sprouting armies slowly show themselves
Push and shove, shove and push, reaching onward and upward
Giving way to growth, soil cradles stem and stalk
Young, bashful green, crouch timid amidst showers of sunlight
Row and hill emerge with summer’s sprouting promise
Infant bounty is nourished by day and caressed by night
Inch by inch, new growth stands tall with impatient life
Nature’s chorus sings its familiar tune across posted row
Wandering vines search out, grabbing hold and clutching tight
Twisting buds proudly burst out loud with fragrant flower
With hand held care, flavor and fruit grow and slowly find their shape
A mid summers breeze carries with it the hint of scented names
Spice and flavor ride along the wind, singing out loud
Patience and care give way to the moon’s full, fresh bounty
Smells and tastes define the assortment of rooted vine
Cool days chased by chilled nights beckon fall’s harvest call
Hand picked beauty slowly rounds the wicker full
Cherry, roma, and early girls ripen with painted shades of red
Bells of yellow, green and red are crisp with slice
Orange jacks and towering gray stripe search out autumn’s song
Plump, sweet kernels cling tightly to silky stalk
Canned rewards trumpet loudly, signaling the season’s end
Once again, hand sculpted earth has given its all
Thankful splendor gives way to winter’s gripping frosts
Frozen vines huddle close and recall daydreams of summer tales
Chilled blankets of white cradle the ground with a season’s lasting lullaby
Thawed once more, the tines of spring reach in and dig deep
Grateful cycle, awakens again with new, familiar ground
The promises of a new season await the seeded hand
Journey towards the harvest fall begins new again