Pulling Weeds


English: A flower bed displaying a variety of ...

English: A flower bed displaying a variety of different coloured flowers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hanging around outside today, playing with the dog and waiting for the guys from Fireside to arrive and deliver our load of ECO Bricks (4 pallets, 4 tons = warm house this winter), I began to lackadaisically and somewhat haphazardly pull weeds in the front flower bed.  “Flower bed” is, of course, a misnomer.  I didn’t do squat with any of the so-called flower beds this year.  Consequently, they’ve all gone to weeds, so there’s a lot of pulling to be done.  I’m not even going to begin to try to fool myself into thinking they’ll all get tended to before snow flies.  Whatever.  I’ll get to them when, and if, I can.  And if I don’t, it’s no biggie as far as I’m concerned.

This is an enormous departure for me.  Until this year, I was the sort who planned out her flower beds and wanted them to look a certain way (usually a rum-tumble of perennials which basically took care of themselves).  This year — with Dad dying in the spring and the ensuing months of caring for Mom in her home, moving her to a nursing home, and yanking out of it when I realized what a bad move that had been — my thoughts and energies have been elsewhere.  I could barely find the energy to look at a seed catalog, let alone contemplate actually ordering and planting something.  A general malaise laced with dollops of “fuck all” and panic were the order of the day.  Who had time to garden?

And I don’t have time now.  Mom doesn’t need round-the-clock attendance on her, but I need to check in every hour or so.  There’s legal stuff to work on (don’t even get me started on that mish-mash), a hope to arrange a caretaker so we can attend a wedding out-of-state that we’ve really been looking forward to…the list goes on.  Everything in my life is taking a beating and there are moments when I feel as if my nostrils are the only thing above water…and the creek is rising.

But today, outside in the autumn sunshine, feeling within the breeze a hint of the winter to come, I bent my task to the earth and the weeds.  Bending, grasping, gently pulling root from soil until my arms were full, throwing the weeds over the stone wall to rot and nurture the earth…for a while I found a much-needed reconnect with life, the sweep and cycle of our world that cares diddly for the minutiae of my own.  And in that larger view, for a time, I found peace.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's, Essays, Family, Flowers, Gardening, Life, Melissa Crandall, Mother, Peace and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Pulling Weeds

  1. Adina says:

    I am so happy for you Melissa for bringing you mother to live with you and Edd!
    We would more than happy to have her over while you are out.

    • Thank you, Adina. But I think that would be beyond her comfort level. She’s okay (I think) with meeting people one-on-one and having someone here to watch her, but going to a strange place and being left might just cut a little too close to the bone.

  2. John says:

    Weeds are also part of the grand design. At least that’s the excuse I use.

  3. lexiesnana says:

    Went through the same thing this year.I hope next year is better.

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