Sunday, October 5, 2008
Tis a Gift to Be Simple
I work at a northeast-native-plant nursery on the weekends and we are beginning the long process of shutting down for the year. It means a lot of repairs need to be done, herbaceous plants need to be cut down, pots need to be put into the bins where they will overwinter. Between tending to the needs of customers, I spent the day re-organizing the remaining pots of raspberries, currants, gooseberries and other edibles, finding spots for them in the bins, topping the bins up with the mulch that will insulate them. It was a day of many textures and sensations.
Most of the day the sun was out and the air was brisk and dry. The blue of an October sky is a blue even I, who dislikes most blues, cannot resist. The worms had been busy in the old mulch in the bins and had turned the bark mulch into a rich, dark, dense cake of castings. To my nose, the new mulch smells slightly of coffee and dampness- not an unpleasant aroma but inescapable. The texture of the new mulch is very friable and light. The stems of the black raspberries are bloomed with a waxy pale blue over rich purple. I helped myself to a luscious 'Autumn Bliss' raspberry. In the background, goldfinches were calling all day with their "zee-zee-zeet?" merrily feasting on the many seed heads from the summers' spent blooms. Bumblebees were still making the rounds- there are enough blossoms still around for them to do their work. One of the dogs at the nursery, an utterly charming Icelandic Sheep Dog, named Brinja, came by every once in a while to get her belly rubbed and then, in canine quid-pro-quo, insisted on licking my face and ears for me. By late afternoon, the sun had warmed the local fox grapes enough for them to release their heady fragrance. It was like drowning in a vat of hot grape juice- intoxicating. Unfortunately, the pulp of these grapes is insipid- and that is being charitable. At the end of the long day, when I just could not do another row of "socket pots," I headed home and stopping by a hardware superstore on the top of a ridge, sat and watched a glorious sunset for a few minutes.
There were many more delights for the senses- I neglected to mention the lovely colors of the sassafrass tree's three mitten leaves, the large display of 'Harrington's Pink' New England Asters, a few remaining Monarchs nectaring on the New York Ironweed... and on and on and on. A rich and rewarding day; and I am grateful for the chance to be present for its many gifts.