All the wild things are out in full bloom, already, and I can feel the press of numerous yard chores hovering over me: pulling weeds, pruning, stump removal, and working the dirt before planting.
Down in the Eagle River valley, the blustery wind kicks up silt into swirling dust devils. I watch a raven perched atop an ancient cottonwood call in gregarious caws to his mate. Dark gray clouds coil overhead, and the wind, rushing past my ear, contributes to my sense of urgency. There are so many things I want to do this summer. And so little time. But how can that be; we’re rushing into summer with 18 hours of daylight? While down on my knees, weeding, I reflect on the inspiration of summers past.
I remember exploring the rocky shores of Tutka Bay, and watching the sea otters barrel roll in the early morning fog. I relish in the elated expression on my husband’s face as he maneuvered the boat, pointing excitedly to the raucous activity on a bird rookery in Kachemak Bay. I remember climbing to the alpine meadows of Long Lake, and unexpectedly catching a marmot bathing on a flat rock warmed by the sun; and hiking the Cross Pass Trail complete with the exhilaration of a heart-stopping river crossing. Then there were all the new places I wanted to explore…the Koyukuk River, Bear Cove, and Knight Island.
From the garden, I stand quietly looking at Eagle Glacier, still snow covered in the distant valley. The river is slow and silty, snaking the valley floor in its own time, no rush to get to the ocean. I take a deep breath and concede the same…the garden will wait for me and everything will get done, bit by bit, in its own slowed down time.
I’m going to enjoy this summer, with expanded evenings working in the garden, winded mountain-bike rides on the South Fork trail, and hikes in the nearby mountains.
Like summers past I am reminded, there will be enough, even plenty of time, for all of it.
For a marvelous book on gardening by Wendy Johnson, click here: http://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Dragons-Gate-Cultivated-World/dp/0553378031
Book description: "Gardening at the Dragon's Gate is fundamental work that permeates your entire life. It demands your energy and heart, and it gives you back great treasures as well, like a fortified sense of humor, an appreciation for paradox, and a huge harvest of Dinosaur kale and tiny red potatoes."
In September, I will be attending a Writer's Workshop in Santa Fe, NM featuring Natalie Goldberg (click on her link here: http://nataliegoldberg.com/) and Wendy. I look forward to being inspired by their special gifts of rapt attention to writing, nature, and gardening.