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Posts Tagged ‘Radio Flyer’

I spent a large part of last evening digging in the dirt, mowing the lawn, tying Liz’s Ecuadorian anniversary roses with dark twine into a neat bundle of 9 and hanging them on the porch, emptying vats of standing rainwater, ripe for mosquito breeding.

I poked my hands into the slimy bucket and pulled out terracotta planters and cyan plastic garden pots that had fallen there. They’d careened into the abyss, a thrown out cat litter bin, over winter. I carefully held each pot up above the earth and let the water drip away, then stacked them one by one beside the shed next to the rusting Radio Flyer wheelbarrow and wagon.

The neighbor across the street placed the Radio Flyer wagon at the end of her driveway late last fall with a Free sign on it. Liz and I snarfed it up in seconds flat. But not without asking, “What’s the story? Why are you getting rid of it?”

She said it belonged to her son when he was a kid. And she had used it for years and years to haul garden supplies and planting soil. But now it was time for it to go. One woman’s ceiling is another woman’s floor. We are happy to have it. And now use it to haul dirt in and weeds out of our own gardens.

I worked up the first summer sweat last night, stopping periodically to wipe my forehead on the sleeve of my T-shirt. Bullfrogs sang in the distance, the orange sky purpled near 9pm, and I stood drinking a long swig of water out of a blue Taos Mountain bottle, watching Liz weed the garden near the juniper.

I took macro shots of white bell-like blooms near the cactus. What’s the name of that plant? The lilac, so small last year, has bushed out and is pushing the limits of its ring of river rocks. We’ll have to expand the circle. Growth. It’s good to grow.

When it came my turn to plunge the Sears mower through tall bottom grass soaked from last weekend’s rains, I was sure to take a big long whiff of the first cut grass of the season. I lovingly ran my hands through the clippings in the catch bag every time we emptied it into mulch.

Old garden Skechers turned lime green from the chlorophyll dew. My hair was coated in bits of cut grass and creeping Charlie that Liz laughingly plucked from my head when we sat down to rest and drink a Mountain Dew on the gray steps under the mailbox.

God, I love spring in Minnesota.

Before the dog days of Summer, before mosquitoes and black flies, before humidity swells my joints and sweat drips from armpits on the short ride home from work. Before the day I was born, before wiry brown haygrass mixed with sparks from the barbecue signal fire danger, Code Red.

Before Fall, there is Spring. Mary Oliver said she names a poem in almost every book Spring. She does it because she doesn’t like to think of titles for her work.

I like to think she does it because she loves digging in the dirt and freeing juicy earthworms for the songbirds she so freely writes about in lucid, eloquent detail. I like to think she does it because she loves Spring.

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

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