Spring seems serious at the moment. Bumble bees already busy at the barely-open pear blossoms. Hyacinths and daffodils everywhere, and muscari and the redbud opening up. Time to spend more hours in the dirt!
The past two years, I have made the vegetable garden less crowded; the children are grown and I do not want to can, freeze, or give away tons of vegetables the two of us cannot consume. I’ve decided to offer a larger portion of the garden to bees and butterflies by adding more flowers to the mix. Also, I have added wood mulch paths. Shredded wood mulch provides a good environment for salamanders, toads, useful insects, and other “minor fauna” (see my book–The Minor Fauna). This year, while tooling around in the soil doing preparation for plantings, I’ve been thrilled to find toads and salamanders–as well as isopods, (pillbugs, sowbugs and woodlice) and, of course, several varieties of worms.
I’ve been in the garden and taken a woodsy walk; every politician and world leader ought to stop whatever they are doing and take long, quiet walks in nature and long, deep breaths and then do some thinking before they make any more decisions. They might want to read some Wendell Berry, too.
Works for me.
Berry was only 30 years old when he wrote these poems (and also “The Peace of Wild Things,” which many people tell me is their favorite poem). He has labored on his thinking in the decades since, and remains a poet worth reading.
April Woods: Morning
Birth of color
out of night and the ground.
Luminous the gatherings
newly risen, green leaf
in the sun, the dark
To My Children, Fearing for Them
Terrors are to come. The earth
is poisoned with narrow lives.
I think of you. What you will
live through, or perish by, eats
at my heart. What have I done? I
need better answers than there are
to the pain of coming to see
what was done in blindness,
loving what I cannot save. Nor,
your eyes turning toward me,
can I wish your lives unmade
though the pain of them is on me.