I have been in the garden.
My idea of paradise is not sitting in front of the TV with remote in hand (although I do love to rent a good movie now and again) ... Going downtown and searching through antique shops or a bookstore filled to overflowing might tempt. Closer to my perfect is a good book and a warm fire on a rainy day. But if I was given the choice of how to spend a perfect hour ... For me it would be in a garden. Most any garden. But mine is the one I love most. This one came with a cottage (a place to go in case of rain or nightfall) and I added a studio because I always dreamed of having a window-filled studio in the woods in which to paint ... and I knew my imagination needed a place to play.
It is nearly dark outside now and I am sitting drinking a cup of tea on the back porch reflecting on what has been done over the past several days and if I think the storm that is brewing will hit tonight. Will it wait until I tidy one more thing or two in the east side corner of the garden tomorrow morning? I did not quite reach that far end yet and am worried that I did not uncover the strawberries nor clip the holly bush away from where I know the soon to awake, rhubarb crowns sit waiting. They no longer require the protection given for winter and will wake with the sun to warm them. They call to me now. I need to be in the garden more than I need sleep.
I could spend another three days out there and still wish for more. I am never happier than on days like this one. Long and filled with things I love. I took pictures tonight ... but am not sure if they are right. The cottage seems asleep now wrapped in a slummering garden. Only a hint of what it will be like later in the year appears visible now.
Perhaps it is just that I wonder how much I should reveal to the public. Anyone that has ever wandered about the little roads in the avenues of this town, will know my cottage on sight. It hides in the trees, yet stands out like something that was once built for children to play make-believe inside it's walls. It is a ticket into the past ... Of when tiny homes dotted the landscapes with white picket fences and Victory gardens were something everyone had. It sits in a time warp. Do I dare expose it?
Here at the bottom of the garden where the world of human meets faeries ... Spring has been peeking in the windows, giving a glimpse forward in time and pulling me by force outside and into the surrounding world beyond the cottage & studio walls. It has been in the 60s and 70s for several days. I have been intoxicated with the spring-like weather. I neglect nearly everything else.
Every year this happens. We will have a sudden warm spell and as if by magic, everything seemingly changes overnight. This year has brought several days of such warmth that every bulb and plant at once began to think of poking it's head out from under winter's lavender branch mulches. Trees and roses began to stretch their leaves just a bit from the constraints of bare twigs to test the air ... Something like a dove looking for a branch ... Each plant seems to be looking for a sign of spring. Is it safe to wake they seem to wonder? And every gardener knows what this means. If the weather warrants ... Drop everything and go outside! Spring is just around the corner & you won't get a second chance to beat the rush. Hurry. Go now.
I have been outside. Cat at my side watching. Hands in the soil. Digging, and pulling, raking and smoothing. Trimming and clipping, inhaling the dampness and being scratched as I haul armloads of prunings away to the green waste bins and compost piles ... And smiling the entire time as wide as you can imagine.
This is my idea of heaven. Pure bliss.
I am more than fine. I am exhausted and in need of a long soak in a hot bath when I finally come inside at night. This is proof that life is good. And I want nothing more every time than to do it all over again tomorrow.
I dreamt for years of a tiny white cottage in the woods. With flowers surrounding it, and a clearing to fill with a big vegetable patch. I knew that somewhere near there would be a little greenhouse (made of old windows) where I could putter in winter, ponds for frogs & birds to share and the cherry on top of this dream would be my art studio sitting in the middle of the woods overlooking the gardens.
Some day I will tell you how it all came to be.
For now I will leave you with this: Dream Big.