Every day is Eden.  We make our choices.


I picked the garden early this morning.  I marveled at my patch of cosmos and sunflowers.  I remember sowing the seeds for those flowers and wondering if everything would blow over in the vigorous gale that often sweeps upriver in this high desert country.  To my amazement, I haven’t had a single flower knocked down in the wind and some of my sunflowers are ten feet tall!  I have a theory that the more a tree or plant is battered by the elements, the stronger it tends to grow.  There’s a reaction to wind, specifically; roots spread wider and shoot deeper so that a plant is tethered to a greater anchor.  My garden has been wind-abused but not broken and so it has grown all the more beautiful and splendid.

I walked my excess cucumbers over to my neighbor’s place, chatted for a while and then made my way home to my kitchen where I am batching spicy cucumber pickles and cardamom plum jam.

I have a simple Sunday ahead of me.  I wish you could come work with me, side by side, rejoice in the bounty, play with the kittens and laugh with me like sisters and brothers do.


In The Gardens

This morning, RW and I have been wrangling the gardens and believe me when I say, the wrangling work is long overdue.  Everything here started blooming a couple of weeks early and then it grew hot.  The tulips are all burned up now except for one patch of the beauties in the shade of the great elm tree.  Everything seems so dried up and parched.  Even the trails on the mountain, in certain areas, show an inch of silt powder that poofs up and sticks to my legs when I run through it.  Some of our fire fighter friends have already worked on Idaho fires this year!  Can you believe that?  Yesterday, while running, I dropped down to all fours by the creek to soak my hair and cool off after crossing wide swaths of sagebrush in the full sun.  I thought I would bake to death as I wended my way up the mountain the heat was so broad.  On the South fence line, the grapevines are already bursting onto the scene with their broad leaves and twirling twisps.  It’s really lovely.  This morning, as I was pulling copious amounts of weeds out of our various garden spaces, I felt my soul pinched by melancholy, just knowing that I won’t be here this summer to tend my scrap of earth.  Plenty of gardening space awaits me in Winthrop but it’s not mine, if you know what I mean.  I’m going to miss cutting roses for vases at 6AM every morning in July.  Fortunately, Rob’s base has a plethora of peonies and I’ve already imagined myself into that space, cutting lovely specimens for our home and the Airstream.  It’s hard to love a garden and then leave it.  Well, in all actuality, it’s hard to love anything and leave it — harder for some than others — those are the people who love deeper and let good things take up residence in their souls.

While Rob was turning dirt and I was cutting away the dry garble of last year from the lavender patches I asked Robert, “What if we were to downsize our life to the point where we live in Winthrop in the summer months and then live in our Airstream in the winter months?  What if we were to sell this house and mostly everything in it and simply take to the road like gypsies in the winter months?  Would you like that?  I can hardly bear to watch our gardens dismantle themselves.

Then I asked myself, “Would I like that?

How about you?  Would you like that?  Living in an Airstream half of the year and settling in someplace other for the remainder?  I think I could like it, for a time.  Life would have to be whittled down into much less than it is now, specifically in terms of possessions.

But back to the gardens for a moment, our poor yard has suffered so greatly at the paws of two German Shorthaired Pointer puppies in the span of 18 months that I fret it may never recover.  All the perennial beds I have so lovingly tended and expanded since we bought this property are looking ragged and patchy.  They grow weary of resurrecting themselves in the face of such relentless canine antagonism.  Why do dogs love, so much, to lay directly atop the iris beds?  And the alliums…oh the alliums.  Usually I have one hundred of them in their incredibly-slender-lavender-starburst-wavering beneath the ornamental plum trees.  This year they are are a sad and ravaged looking group of twenty.  I can’t even find the courage to tell you of the blue iris patch in the back yard it has been so dismally affected by Tater’s daily stampedes along the fence line.  Such tragedy.

On the bright side, we had such a temperate winter that the roses hardly died back at all and are bursting with health and the promise of a wild froth of twenty three different colors of blossoms later this summer and my columbines are as beguiling as ever.  Let me tell you, the view from the front windows of the house these days is nothing short of glorious with seven to eight thousand foot mountains rolling wild and green in every direction and the savage orange of the poppy bed framing the view.  I can’t help but fall in love with this place every moment of the day.  Tell me what you have blooming in your life at the moment — garden or otherwise.  I’m sure it’s as rich and indefatigable as my green spaces here.  Everyone and everything I know and love has such a tendency to rise and rise again.

Thank you for all the kind, sweet and lovely comments you have posted over on the mix CD giveaway.  I look forward to drawing the names of the winners tonight or tomorrow morning.

Have a beautiful Wednesday!