Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Urban Garden In The Aftermath Of The Orlando Shooting

This year's first strawberries.
It's all over my Facebook feed and all over the news--the shooting that occurred Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. And I feel totally helpless. Should I post anything on Facebook? What can I add or say that hasn't already been said? Should I record my outrage for eternity? Honestly, that's not different than clicking "like", and I'm getting tired of that pointless ritual. Sure I can write to my senators, but I already know they're pro gun control. There seems to be nothing a person can do in this country to elicit change, especially in the political process. One guy tries to blow up a plane with his shoe--his shoe!!--and suddenly we're all taking off our shoes before we board an airplane. But these massacres happen time after time after time, and nothing happens. Nothing changes in the way we buy or handle weapons. No legislation. No one is voted out of office. Nothing.

So, at least every other day I go into the garden where I can do something. In the garden, weeds are easily identified and pulled, one by one or sometimes even in handfuls. If a plant needs some special care, I can give it. I work barefoot and feel directly connected to the earth through my skin. My fingers feel so many feelings; rough sun-heated earth and firm ripe healthy fruit and I can feel pinpricks to my knees when I kneel because I'm getting too old to just bend over or squat. I know, I'm not changing the world. I'm not directly affecting human beings, except maybe this one, and maybe that's the point. When there's nothing we can do, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself so that abject feeling of helplessness doesn't eat you up. I can work there and there are no pesticides getting on our food, and when I cook and eat it and watch Sue eat it and enjoy it, I know I did that. In a small way, I helped the world become a better place.

Today when I go shopping, I'll buy flour, both bread flour and whole wheat flour, for our bread that I'll make with my own hands. I'll buy food that was raised organically and meat that raised humanely, and it will cost us more because that's the way our society is organized right now: you need more money to stay healthy and treat animals and people well, otherwise there's no profit in food and people, and I think that it's Sue who goes out to her job and works everyday, and it's not always enjoyable, but at least for her labor I can take care of us, and I give thanks for that. Not thanks to your God, not to anyone's God, but to something that I know it out there, I don't know what, but maybe someday in my life's journey I'll learn.

The front bed is responding to the rain we've had, and now the sunshine.

Already the view of the garden is starting to fill in.
The squash bed is established, and the Jerusalem artichokes are in their glory.

Either this rain barrel has a hole in it, or one night an animal came and took a long drink of water.

Potatoes are up, and the lettuce will be ready to pick soon.

Looks like tomorrow I'll be staking tomatoes.

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