Monday, May 11, 2009

Waiting for the Warm

Despite a very sunny couple of weekend days the weather remains cold and wicked at night. On Sunday it was also incredibly blustery. It was bad enough that I decided to not even take the tomato seedlings out for some sun because they would have been blown around mercilessly even in areas protected from the wind.

I planted on Sunday, but with the weather dipping into the low forties at night everything is mostly on hold. I planted beets, swiss chard, arugula, bush beans, and onions. I'm not sure when they'll start coming up, but I look forward to seeing more green. The peas are happy enough and are starting to work their way up their supports. I spent a little time trying to encourage them to pick certain strings with their tendrils. The asparagus is also four to five feet tall and looking amazing. Everything else that has popped up is pretty much in stasis, just waiting for warm weather to burst into action. The corn especially looks poor, and I'm regretting putting it out so early. The cold nights are clearly harming it.

I like taking these pictures of the whole garden because it is fun to watch the change over the course of the summer. It looks rather dry and bare at the moment though. The highlight of the weekend was getting to share several spears of the asparagus with some of our neighbors' children. They stop by and visit the garden occasionally and the snap change on their faces from trepidation at trying the fresh asparagus to shock and delight was priceless for me.

I'm going to end with a poem I wrote in 1997 while I was in college at the University of Michigan. I dug it out of my filing cabinet because I couldn't quite recite it to Michelle, and much of what we've been discussing with larger global environmental issues brought it to mind. Tracey, who was one of my close college friends, was tasked with writing her final paper on the work of a living poet for an English course and she choose this poem. It was a great honor for me because I've always been very shy about my poetry, and after reading it her professor agreed to let her use it. If it weren't for that, I probably wouldn't have the will to share it again now.

Gaia's Song

There is a children's song I know
Which says row gently down the stream.
However, if you're rowing down the stream of life
This advice is not as good as it may seem.

For in this world of motor cars
And planes which go so fast.
Rowing gently down the stream
Will surely leave you in the past.

And the past, I'm told, is not a place
You really want to be.
For things back then were slow and dull
Not any fun you see.

Besides it's hard to make a mark
While rowing gently down the stream.
And leaving your mark upon the world
Is an important thing, it should seem.

For everywhere we're making marks
In the Earth, the Sea, and Sky.
Because we want our presence to be felt
When we grow old and die.

So don't row gently down the stream of life
Be more like Adam or like Eve.
Go make your mark in paradise
And then be asked to leave.

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