Monday, May 07, 2007

Marigolds and beer

Nothing like getting a bit of earth dirt on your hands in spring.

Yesterday was a warm, sunny day and I felt the need to do some outdoors work instead of sitting at my desk typing on the laptop. I like writing but sometimes get tired of it and just want to do some hard manual graft, the sort of graft that makes you feel like you've accomplished and achieved something of significance, the sort of graft that makes you feel good to be alive as you slake down a good, ice-cold beer afterwards--and I'm not talking about the weak mass-produced pee that passes for beer here in the US. No sir, I mean good beer, beer of the sort that that comes from Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium and American micro-breweries like Victory's Hop Devil here in Pennsylvania or Berkshire Brewing Company in Massachusetts. No matter how good a job I did working on a legal brief or how good I did in court of how well I think I wrote that paragraph or sentence in a novel, I've never been able to feel the depth of satisfaction I feel when I've mowed the lawn just so or mulched the flowerbeds so that the contrast between the ink-black mulch and bright green leaves makes an indelibly pleasing impression in my brain. I think I always feel this way because one can immediately see the fruits of one's labor, stand back and see the big picture--the sprawling velvety lawn, the lush flower beds.

So yesterday, I weed-whacked the untidy grass and weeds growing alongside the edges of the stone flowerbeds and underneath the picket fence. And after that was done, I got my trowel and dug deep into the musty soil, turned up the earth and popped fifty-five baby marigold plants into their new homes. I love the bright orange of marigold flowers and I love their lacy foliage.

Miss Brody thought carnations 'sensible' flowers. Well, I think marigolds are joyful flowers. In mid summer, after the lavish lily shows have come to an end, one can always count on the faithful marigold to maintain the sunny atmosphere...and they do, right up to the first frosts.

I can't wait for them to grow up and bloom.

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