The lingering glow of immersion in salt water quickly sweated out of me when I returned home to a yard in need of attention. Some of the attention simply needed a prompt investment in labor, like mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool. Co-existing with mature trees means picking up a collection of branches and other debris before you can mow. Co-existing with wildlife meant scooping six frogs out of the pool once the solar cover was removed, disrupting frog spa day, and more tree debris. It also meant assessing the damage from the groundhog, who has raised the stakes significantly by wiping out most of the remaining vegetables, but more egregiously climbing up the potted Hibiscus, breaking branches on its quest to mow down tasty bits from the top. This shall not stand.
There’s a tangible shift happening with the back yard from June/July satisfaction with the joys of a private oasis in the middle of a pandemic to a feeling that maybe this work is more than I want to deal with. I recognize this as a post-vacation reality slap and know it will subside in time. Part of this is a recognition that the pandemic marches on with no clear end in sight, and a burning desire to just get out in the world once again. To cross borders real and imagined. Part of it is knowing the routine for what it is and not being quite ready for it just yet. We’re 1/3 of the way through August and this is naturally the time when I start to look around at where we are and what needs to be done. The garden had faded even before the large rodent accelerated the process. Where do we go from here?
There’s another part of the shift, and its the recognition that time slips quickly away, and our best efforts to maintain a pristine environment can be wiped out faster than you can spell groundhog. More attention paid to those big things from yesterday’s post, and less on half-assed attempts to grow pumpkins and tomatoes and hibiscus. Does creating a backyard paradise mean hunting down a mammal that finds a buffet paradise in my efforts? Or do I just stop planting the things it likes to eat and go to the farm stand for tomatoes and pumpkins? The garden, however noble a pursuit, was never about produce.
Yesterday I woke up on the edge of the bay. This morning I woke up on the edge of the forest. Each offers a dose of reality that you’ve got to come to terms with. I’m not a Rhodes Scholar but I’m smart enough to recognize good fortune when I see it. Appreciate the good and learn from the setbacks. That’s 2020 in a nutshell. The world marches on, and shift happens.