Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Gardening's humility

With great power comes great responsibility. With great responsibility comes...


This summer I have a garden. I am a gardener. No, not a very good one, but a very emotional one. I garden as if an incredibly delicate bird has been put in my care, one on the brink of death, and I have no idea how to care for the bird. So mostly I fret and project hope and try to induce it to sip pureed worms. There's some weeding too, er, forget the bird now, we're back to the garden. Sunday evening I bought a variety of tomato plants because all my tomato seeds failed, but the night was projected to be cold, too cold for it to be wise to plant them. So I took the little tomato plants to my living room and watched them a lot. They didn't go anywhere. They are not ambulatory, which is an interesting feature of plants that non gardeners may not know. In the morning I took them outside. Here at work today I think of them. Do they have enough water? Are they getting enough sun? I bet they miss me. I miss them.

Walking to work, on the river, I passed a house I adore, all dense dark brick and with a cozy yard swollen with sweet flowers. It's a dream of a house, facing the Mississippi River, solid as can be. I thought "I wish we lived in this house and didn't have to work and I could garden all day." Hands in the dirt, playing with the magic of time and nature and food. A gardener attains a piece of the power over life and death.

So here I am, a gardener-god, but I feel nothing but humility. This could be because I am not very good at gardening. Still, I am an excellent writer, and yet I'm terribly humble about that too. Yes, sure, you may be thinking that a person who talks about being the greatest writer on the Internet, a prophet of the gods setting down a religious masterpiece for the ages, and the finest, only blogger in the world, can hardly claim to be humble. And I agree I am prone to exclamations of my own exalted greatness, but when I engage in those, when I am telling you that I am a terrible genius, I do feel rather humble. The sentence I am using to say it all is a gift. It may grow or it may not, and even I know, most of them die whether I want them to or not.


  1. I am quite sure your tomato plants do miss you when you go to work, as mine do me when I do the same.

    1. Yes, you're probably right. I'm glad I planted each of them with sixteen tomato friends. I hope you gave tomato friends to your tomatoes too, even if it's not quite the same.

  2. Yeah, do not gaze onto my face 4 I am God. You must leave the tomatoes to agribusiness and in their place you must grow 4 me many Lady Slipper orchids. If you do this I will visit Earth and walk among the. Verily, look 4 me then for I will descend in my very kewl new model Chariots of the Gods/Ezekiel's Wheel space craft. I Have Spoken!!!

    1. You, Anonymous, are a most, er, interesting commenter!

      So, um, I would get to work right away on those orchids for you, but I don't think I could actually manage to grow them with my level of gardening skill. So I guess we're all going to have to continue to live in a god abandoned world and not get to see your kewl space craft though I hope you enjoy it. What model is it?

      Anyhoo, thanks for Speaking.


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