Thursday, September 19, 2013

This and that and a creaking back

I am having an indoor day today in deference to my back, which is creaking and complaining after a two day stint in the garden.  Well, not really days, - only mornings, but that's all that I seem to be able to cope with, and Frank-the-Digger feels much the same way, I'm sure.
We have brought down just one large peony root, but two great boxes of iris corms.  I am faced with the realization that I am going to have to find loving homes for the overflow from what can  be accommodated in the garden.   AND there are still six peonies, four large Oriental Poppy plants, two enormous white phlox, some sedum, some chrysanthemums, a wonderful yellow daisy, whose name I don't know but it blooms from July until frost, and miles and miles and miles of straight white Chinese Lantern railway tracks, (which I plan to eradicate).  Also some asters, an enormous michaelmas daisy, a few moveable roses,  - oh, and the daylilies!!!!
This is how the garden looked in its hey-day, but now, alas, overrun with brilliant Chinese Lanterns.

On the brighter side, when I mention the availability of all these treasures when in the Senior's Centre or the Thrift Shop, gardener's eyes glaze over as they hurriedly try to reckon where they might put another peony, or some more iris, or a poppy - if I could just organize a day in the garden and tell them all to come with their spades and take what they want!!!
While looking around and contemplating whether I should poach an egg for breakfast I find I can no longer ignore the pail of Italian Prunes left on the kitchen counter by some kind person!  Probably because I have been successfully passing my eyes over them for the last four days, and they are  beginning to get soft and mature and quietly crying for attention!!!  I make a quick coffee cake, which I see is too large for the pan I put it in, and is spilling over in the oven, but looking delicious nonetheless...

Lingering over my second cup of coffee, I read a bit of Mary Oliver and a dozen pages of Jonathan Lear's Radical Hope (ethics in the face of cultural devastation).  In this he traces the cultural decline and eventual collapse of the Crow Nation, and the inspiration which the great Crow Chief, Plenty Coups finds by going into the wilderness in the old traditional way and emerging with a dream which leads his people to continue their way of life in a " yet to be defined new form" - to find the courage to "'listen like the Chickadee" by observing others; going on in new ways, rather than defining the courage of the Crow Nation as Warriors.
How to condense the sophisticated philosophy of this book into a simple paragraph!?  I turn to The New York Review of Books and Charles Taylor's article on Radical Hope to help me understand and put into words my understanding of the importance of this book in facing the vulnerability of all civilizations, including that of Western culture.
I think I need to finish  the book before I can say more, - and it is due at the library tomorrow!!!
Which, of course, defines what I will do for the rest of today!!!
If the sun shines I will go out and read in the back garden, with a couple of cushions for my back!


Barb said...

Oh, if only I lived just down the road - not only because I would love some of those garden plants, but perhaps I could invite myself for some of that yummy looking cake! I baked a lemon sponge cake on Tuesday and the two of us have single-handedly eaten half of it! (I froze the other half.) We're having a guest for dinner tomorrow, so maybe I'll have to get it out of the freezer. It's tart and yummy - we eat it with fresh sliced peaches and blackberries. Hope an afternoon's rest makes your back less creaky, Hildred.

Morning's Minion said...

I still grieve over the vintage peonies left in Wyoming--I had moved them there from my flourishing Vermont garden. They languished unhappily in Wyoming's harsh climate, but they did live. They were under three feet of frozen snow when we sold that house.
I'm facing the fact that marathon gardening efforts leave me with groaning back and knees--and the ache lingers much longer than in former years.
You have my sympathy in this matter! I walk by areas of the garden which need attention [was it only two years ago that I divided the iris?]and have to concede that I will always fall behind in my tending.
A book, tea, and one of those helpful rice-filled cushions which can be warmed in the microwave are my solace when I must sit still and attempt recovery from digging.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I hope your day(s) of rest cures your back completely. The coffee cake looks so good.

Your reading choice leaves me feeling illiterate .. or, at best, intellectually lazy!

Maybe you could organize a garden day so people could finish clearing out the old garden in one fell swoop! Is your old home empty?