FLOWERS, MOSQUITOES, AND LIZARDS
I have always heard of the therapeutic effects of gardening. My mother, for one, also preaches as to how it will make me feel better if I will go outside and move around in the beautiful sunshine. And at this point in my life I am willing to do anything to feel better. Or so I thought.
My mother loves to work in her flowers. On any given day in the early hours of the morning or in the late evening I can peer out my window and catch a glimpse of her scampering around in her colorful garden. Upon closer observation I can always see a smile upon her face. I often wonder what it is she is thinking about that brings her such peace. She takes her time patiently watering her petunias, gladiolus, marigolds, and day lilies. I asked her one time what it was she enjoyed so much about working in her flowers. Her answer to me was that there was nothing more pleasurable or relaxing than kneeling on her knees and digging in the earth. She also felt a sense of calmness and serenity as she walked about watering the flowers. I still could not comprehend how she received all this from gardening but wanted the same. So I asked her to help me plant some flowers around my home.
The day we planted my flowers I was excited about the new concept of flower therapy but apprehensive about the one called manual labor. We started early in the morning to avoid the noon sun and all went well besides the fact that I hauled off dead leaves and she planted most of the flowers. It did not matter though, I was simply eager to watch these new lives grow.
A few weeks have now past and I must tell you I am somewhat disappointed. These little children of mine are slow to mature. By now I was hoping to be outside playing in the dirt and pulling up weeds. I imagined taking out my pinned up anger on any invading wild plant that may have found its way into my precious garden. However, after today I realized this is probably not a wise idea without my mother around.
It has been extremely dry in my neck of the woods this summer. The local news reported it to be the driest summer in fifty years. Luckily, our area has not been placed on water restrictions as of yet but the water bill has curtailed us from watering every day. My mother placed a soaker hose around my newly planted flowers and decorative grass to keep them from withering away but the poor babies are still starting to wilt. Mother informed me last night that a decent helping of water mixed with mighty miracle grow would do them good.
This morning I trudged outside to do my duty to ensure that my flower garden survived. My heart though was just not in it. The humidity was high and my back was hurting even before I started. I went to attach the hose to the miracle grow container and ran into my first problem. The hose had a coupler at the end and would not fit. Across the yard I headed to my parent's house to retrieve another hose to fit onto mine before I could begin. Once I began my mother came down to "see how I was doing" and informed me I was going through the process too quickly and that once I reached the end of my home to come back very slowly, repeating the process to ensure that the flowers received enough water. By the time I reached the end of the house I thought my back was going to break because I am so badly out of shape. I should be ashamed, I know. I started to wonder where my smile and this "peace" of which my mom spoke were. I felt more along the lines of pissed off. Where was the damn rain?
I stood impatiently over each plant as I repeated the process to make sure they were drowned in nutritious water. Looking down upon them I started to wonder exactly what the hell I was looking at and if it was a weed or something my mother had planted. So to be safe I watered everything. I watered the grass, the weeds, and a few briars along the way. This is why it is a good thing I have not been pulling weeds. Hell, the only thing probably safe from my grasp would have been the spider monkey grass. I simply could not distinguish the weeds from the other grasses and bushes my mother had interspersed among the flowers. They all looked the same to me. I started to wonder if my mother knew what she was doing.
While hardily watering the pitiful petunias one fledgling plant was beat to its side. I threw the water hose to the side and determined that if I was going to work this hard it was going to live. While holding it in one hand and patting the ground up around it I had an unexpected visitor drop by. A lizard dashed across the top of my hand, no doubt running for cover from the deluge of water. For a few seconds I could not move, frozen in fear. Then I sprang to my feet and began to dance around wildly and screaming. Now, instead of picking up the hose, which was now empty of miracle grow, and rinsing my hand off, I started spitting on it and trying to wipe off the yucky lizard ick that I perceived to be on my hand. This insanity passed quickly and now I was really pissed off.
Almost done with my project, I continued on. Sweating and itchy, I then fought with the water hose, which had now become tangled and crimped, cutting off the flow of water. After winning yet another battle against the elements I noticed blood trickling down my arm. MOSQUITOES had attacked me. I rarely venture outdoors and had not thought about protecting myself from them. The sweet scent of my blood had apparently brought the entire army to me and I had now become aware of multiple bites on my body. That was it. I threw down the hose and inside I came.
I was now bloody, sweaty, stinky, and muddy. I had been attacked by a lizard and mosquitoes. Flower therapy did not seem to help too much today. Maybe tomorrow I will give it another shot but as for today, I would rather be Gathering.