on weeding

A miraculous thing happened last night. Lots of late summer sunsets and parties caught up with the little birdie and she went to sleep at 6 p.m.! Lovelies, this has NEVER happened before. I’ve heard of children going to sleep at a reasonably earlyish time and sleeping for twelve hours, but Wren is not one of those. I was cursing myself for putting her down so early because I knew she would wake up at 7:30 or 8 and then be up for a few more hours, arrggh. But she was so crabby and we just couldn’t take anymore of each other. Usually when Wren naps in the afternoon, I rush around and try to cram in as many things as I possibly can because I never know when she’ll wake up and require my attention. Could be in 45 minutes or the very rare, three hours.

So what was I to do with this gifted time? Read a book? Take a bath? While those sounded appealing, I just couldn’t ignore the garden anymore so I went on a long-overdue, no-holds-barred weeding rampage. I know, right?! I have some extra time and what do I do with it? Weed. Because I over-planted last year’s garden, it didn’t have any weeds. But this year, well, a completely different story. One ripe with clover. Sigh.

The thing about weeding is that there’s just no space for the kind of feverish activity that I usually cram into any extra time that lands in my lap. I was forced to slow down, be methodical and eventually let my mind wander. After about an hour or so of bending over, my preggers heartburn kicked in and I had to take a break. I went inside, drank a glass of water, consumed a couple Tums, aka “Mama’s medsin,” listened for the little birdie and hearing nothing, headed back outside. It took about another solid hour of bending and pulling, oof.

Miracle: the birdie didn’t wake up AND the weeding is done. For now anyway. And it actually looks like a garden again with pleasingly distinct rows of strawberry plants, asparagus ferns, fingerling potatoes, beets, carrots, tomatoes, nasturtium, basil, dill, tomatillos and peppers. Where the parsley is hiding I still have no idea, but I’m still holding out hope that it will emerge. Slow to germinate, right?!

The same simple geometry cannot be found further south in the squash and melon patch. I came across an absolute deluge of volunteer plants likely from last year’s compost and my rule became: if it looks even remotely edible, it stays. A few tomato plants here, what looks like tomatillo or maybe a couple sunflowers there, and a pumpkin or two? So let’s just say it’s even more organic down there…

Once I settled into the weeding routine, it reminded me a lot of my yoga practice. The way my mind wanders and my body protests at first, then my mind slows and focuses and my body finds its flow. I’ve been really missing my ashtanga yoga practice during this pregnancy so maybe that’s why I found the weeding so gratifying, almost meditative. The sun crept lower, the traffic quieted, I stopped hearing lawn mowers, edgers, radios.

“They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded weeds must have brains.”  ~Dianne Benson, Dirt

The weeds will certainly be back and I’ve got to admire their resiliency. Albeit completely terrorizing!

What are your thoughts on weeding, lovelies? Do you also have a love/hate relationship with them in your garden?