Friday, March 28, 2014

Weeding the Garden

The garden gloves lay on the shelf, waiting for me, taunting me, reminding me there is work to do before play. As we cross from winter to spring, the yard around the house needs some attention so it can move from one season to the next. Rake the last lingering leaves of autumn from the corners. Pull the voracious weeds that insisted to be first from the ground. Trim the wayward tentacles of long-standing shrubs. Spread a blanket of mulch over it all like donning a new dress for Easter. With any luck, the daffodils will bloom soon and push their happy faces from the ground in their cheery cotillion. Perhaps this year I will finally transplant the lavender to the patio.
A creek carves its path through the bluff and spills into
  a clear pool near Ponca, Arkansas, forming a location
where time stops and problems do not exist.

The annual task of preparing the garden is one that must be done, but is not my favorite. I enjoy the end result, but find the little pleasure in the actual drudgery of the labor. I do it because it has to be done. The view of the yard would be diminished if it were not. Mother Nature insists.

The spring season also writes a perfect recipe for hiking my Ozark hills. Temperatures neither too cool nor too warm make for comfortable walks among the trees and along the creeks. Humidity has not yet arrived to soak the air and choke the lungs with breath so saturated you swear you are underwater. But not at this time of year. Spring ushers in weather that invites winter-worn souls into the welcoming arms of nature. This time of year has its own special voice which calls me to the woods to visit old haunts and new places. Lost Valley, Hawksbill Crag, Rush Mountain, Indian Rockhouse, and Hemmed-In Hollow -- all familiar trails that never fail to leave me in wordless awe of nature's gifts. These will have to wait just a bit longer, though. Work first; play later.

Before exploring the back roads, there is that work to be done. Mother Nature has delivered her marching orders which will send me to the rake, clippers, and wheel barrel. The ceremonial cleaning out of the old to make way for the new can wait no more, despite my weeks of procrastination. Mother Nature is clear in her priorities. So, this weekend I don the work gloves and make one giant swoop through the yard, gathering up the remains of winter's dullness to make way for spring. It must be done, but it will be worth it.

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