One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

The thing about “gardener mind” is that it is always begging for your attention and rarely staying on any one topic long enough to make notes. It goes something like this:

Oh, look at those hedges, all developing pretty white flower clusters; are those spirea? Boy, that canna lily really isn’t faring very well against those wind gusts; I guess I should’ve left her inside longer. I miss those butter yellow irises I moved from Long Lake all those years ago. Wow, I can’t believe only three of all those lilies have decided to come up; damn flood plain. It sure is nice not to have to battle black flies this time of year, like I had to back in the mountains. Hmmm, it looks like that scotch broom might bloom this year–it’s been so many years since it has, but isn’t it also purple? I wonder what’s eating those roses. Wow…more of those white flowering shrubs. Oh, I wonder what that squeaky bird call is I hear down the end of the street. I think that’s a bunny footprint. Hey, look, another lily!! I wish the giant bellflowers had survived through last summer and made the move with us; they were always sort of spectacular…” and so on…

…and it all comes at you at a pretty blinding pace sometimes. And that’s just the gardening thoughts…I’m editing out here all those others, about books read and friends missed and conversations revisited and household chores and good books and the price of gas and television shows and all that.

And even if my mind is a great jumble of thoughts, that is still a feeble excuse for not remembering to take the time this past Monday to honor here at the Midnight Garden the many men and women who’ve honored our country with their service and in too many cases, their lives.

As the light faded from the sky on Sunday, I installed my new flags along the fence and remembered them: My grandfathers, my uncles, my neighbors, my friends, strangers I’ve never met.

No matter what I may feel about our government some days, I will always take the time every last Monday in May (at least!) to think of them, and what sacrifices they’ve made, which have allowed me to live in a place where we’re free to say and blog what we please, where I’m free to plant flowers in crazy chaos or orderly rows and to think my unorganized thoughts about Life in the Green.


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