Ducks and Flowers

Thursday, May 24, 2007


After visiting our daughter and son in law in San Diego during March, I started taking photos of Molly's garden which she started in an area that had cement covering it before. Their whole front yard had been CEMENT when they moved in a year ago. So Molly has tried to transform this front yard into a garden and sea of color rather than cement or just grass to mow. So it now has flowers to view like the one in this photo and veggies to eat.

As I wandered around their garden taking photos, I started to realize that maybe I could try to do this in my garden area that has been sitting idle since we moved in two years ago. I thought about how they had turned some of the jagged cement chunks left over into stepping stones as a rebirth of even cement into something helpful among the plants and life. They had turned the dirt to make it grow things again after being covered silently with cement and this transformation gave birth to a whole front yard of delights.

I saw how the mulch had been laid down around all the plants carefully and yet spontaneously just as the planted colors that were growing up. I talked to Molly about how they engaged in this transformation and I got to thinking maybe I could try some of this planting and mulching in Nebraska at home if I just do one chunk at a time and let it evolve rather than seeing it as one HUGE overwhelming task. I could just see it as smaller chunks of yard and start with one or two things and just keep evolving it~

As some people stopped and paused walking by to look at Molly's garden through the wire fence and point out things to each other in the garden, I realized how important growing things are to our lives and how digging in the dirt can helps us see how we can transform our lives and our world around us through gardens and justice work. Watching them stand there and marvel at the garden in what had been a dull space with a boring cement front yard, this idea to try one chunk at a time rather and the WHOLE garden at once, urged me to try this approach.

So I am trying one chunk of the garden area at a time now just like I am hoping to tranform my life one justice and mercy act at a time too...... or through rest, watering, creating spaces and places through my actions, meditations, angst, sharing, reflecting, caring, mulching, digging, planting, weeding and questionning.

The colors and new plantings, mulching are endless but the REST and rain are important too along with taking time to ponder new ideas and share our journey with friends. I first thought of a straight brick entry into the garden but instead in a mad flurry before leaving on a recent trip to PA, I decided to try MULCH in that area as it turned dark in the evening instead so a new PATHWAY area is emerging in my mind now from bricks left here by the previous owner.

Instead of a straight entryway of bricks, I now have mulch in new places and the pathway of bricks might be in the garden itself now with a WAVY and CURVY look snaking through the garden instead. It is evolving as I go rather than a master plan. And I found more flowers today to go in areas and pots beyond our little raised bed that has been created from dirt turned two shovels deep with manure added and mixed again with soil by my husband. We have some veggies planted now in that raised bed which is in the bright sun rather the shade that did not produce tomatoes last summer.

Now we need to replace the RR ties we have surrounding ths smaller contained bed as we found out this week from David, Jay's organic farming brother, that the creoso can go into the food unless the RR ties are very old. So that is another adventure waiting for our energy.

So our garden areas are underway in rather haphazard fashion as we take time and we hope to find some new places to enjoy in our garden area now as it takes shape like the garden in San Diego. We hope to keep finding ways to get enjoyment from mulch, plants, sunshine, rain and more mulch to give us HOPE in a world that seems shattered sometimes with ongoing war, fires this week at Molly's church in San Diego, barriers that keep being proposed but also in walls that are coming down daily too.

Just as the ugly lifeless cement was broken up for new life with new colors emerging in these same places, we seek ways to brighten our days with gardens, new friends, old friends and family who give us HOPE daily along with awaited trips to see our kids in far away places and spaces as we bring back new ideas from them as we share in their lives.

My son did plant the seed earlier in some conversations as he encouraged me to try some gardening but I had no idea even where to start. Now I have a start no matter what happens to this garden area started by others who lived here earlier but it has been largely untended for the last few years now.

Thanks goodness for MULCH and gardens -- as I have a new appreciation for BOTH now and for rainbow colors in plants and nature again --- growing things and dirt -- and I am glad Molly gave me the courage to try this new approach and just experiment one part at a time and give a whack at transforming an area of our lives. I guess we do learn from each other as we share and plant.... dig, weed, water and use mulch.... if we are only open to new ideas and trying new GARDENS in our lives!