Sunday, July 13, 2008

Testing out my "Green Thumb" and Creativity

Yesterday was one of those delightful and slow days of summer that can feel so refreshing. A mini vacation or in the current jargon  a "stayvacation." I began the day watering my flowers and pots. I always start with the best of intentions. I even keep up the daily watering for a few weeks but it never fails that by the end of August, I have dried up, withered little things begging to be put out of their misery. And that's just the potted plants! Reminds me of the movie, 28 Days, with Sandra Bullock. She's made to go to recovery and one of her fellow addicts is told that he can not pursue a romantic relationship until he can keep a plant alive. I swear, on that premise, I should not have children! My vegetable gardens, when I used to have them, would produce amazing, and by amazing I mean large, plants but my tomatoes would not bear fruit. That takes a special kind of garden disfunction here in the bountiful northwest. I consulted with a peer at work whose husband was a master gardener -- I bought this and that and brought samples of my poor wares to the nursery. (I should probably confess that a good deal of my troubles probably stem from my reluctance to come into ANY contact with a spider. And my gardens are nothing if not prolific breeding grounds for spiders of all sorts . . . yes, I know you braver gardeners are snickering at my silliness! I'm working on it. Sissy (my 2 year old) has recently developed a terror of all things insects. Can't imagine where she got that . . . anyway, moving on.) I've since given up vegetables and taken up purely decorative forms of gardening. I have four dahlias that are starting to put out blooms and I am overweeningly proud of myself! You would think I had done more than belatedly plant the tubers (June, I believe) and remember to water sporadically. I took a couple cuttings and put them on the kitchen table. They are sitting here in front of me while I type, listen to the chatter and occasional outbursts of  my children and try to string my thoughts together. 

I've noticed of late that blogging and gardening fill a similar need for creativity. The days that I am home find me repeatedly completing the same mundane tasks -- wiping up meal and snack time messes, endless loads of laundry, counter wiping, floor mopping and meal prep. Of course each day has it's unique challenges that require some ingenuity to handle.  I think the kind of generative creativity that blogging requires takes some practice. In my former life as an English teacher, I was accustomed to writing and critiquing writing. The intervening years and babies have taken their toll on my ability to allow my thoughts to express themselves in writing. This blog entry has taken me WAY too long.  I stumble along, testing each step as I go. Much in the same fashion as I've been approaching my attempts at gardening. Trying new methods, adjusting my expectations and appreciating the beauty when (if) it appears. 

How do you fill your needs for beauty and/or creativity? (Ahem, should mention that the roses above are not mine. But I did take the pic yesterday at the rose gardens:) 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

before i forget... i love the blog header :) two perfect pairs of munchkin feet.
alas you are a humble gardener. everyone needs to grow a few green things in their life don't you think? it is a coming of age sort of thing. i can't even begin to imagine how my life might have been different had i not taken trowel in hand and poked my first hole in the dust of my first garden. sigh...i love gardening but like you, i too am a bit fickle. my patience wears thin by august and my interests begin to shift towards more reliable sources of beauty...fall clothes shopping or an entire stack of unread books in preparation for the hibernation life of late fall. i do love the light of the august garden though. the shadows are slanted at such an angle as to seem like a the worlds compass is standing on end. you are always working to educate yourself and learn new skills heather :) arachnophobia aside you obviously are a gardener with good intentions :).