Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~Sam Keen
Every year I have a yearning to beef up my summer garden. Spring is covered pretty well and things look good into July. But come August, and there emerges a disheveled, ragged garden. It is not particularly interesting. Certainly, parts of the garden look decent enough to fool the casual once over but on closer inspection it is simply not up to the season.
There ought to be more in bloom to provide summer flamboyance. A little control is called for to keep things from looking too messy. The grass appears parched and the weeds are on steroids. It is all a bit disenchanting.
Yet, I do nothing. Lazy? Perhaps. But that is not entirely the reason. It has more to do with trying to live in the moment. Summer is when we give ourselves permission to ease up a little. Let go of agendas and give in to impulse. For two months of a whole year, we rediscover our carefree selves. Bare feet memorize the feel of cool, textured grass. Taste buds savor sun ripened tomatoes. The body sways in tune with the hammock. Fireflies replace the flicker of television. How then could I possibly pull myself away from such pleasures and get serious with the garden?
If the summer perennials I wanted were available in early spring, I’d probably place them in my garden. But that is never the case. They arrive well after I’m immersed in the season’s gentle pastimes. The next opportunity is the fall but by then, I’m in a state of denial. The summer garden is just fine – I tell nobody in particular as I go about cleaning up the garden and adding more spring bulbs.
Finally, in the midst of winter when I crave all things garden and pore over photographs taken through the previous year, do I see how once again, I have failed to accomplish that brilliant summer garden that exists only in my mind. And so the cycle continues.
I invariably feel overcome with guilt for such blatant negligence. But, not anymore. I’ve decided to forgive myself in advance. Summer is too short a season. As ephemeral as the fireflies that fill it.
(c) 2013 Shobha Vanchiswar