There is a season...

I was kind of dreading the end of summer.  But with the tomato plants looking so dowdy and just a few hanging on by a brown thread of a twig for that last bit of red ripe, or the deepening gold glow for the tomato version of candy, the message was clear.  It was over.

I'd bought new autumn veggies for the containers, re-charging the old soil, adding new soil with some type of growie steroids.   Growies.  That's what Carl called our plants when we first got married.  I haven't thought about that word for decades.  It's a perfect word for my non-perfect garden.

I think the urgency of planting and transplanting was a direct response to my dad's recent passing...life replacing death, order supplanting dis-order, awe replacing shock.

I scheduled three days for all the duties associated with completely clearing his apartment. I so wanted to return home to fresh color in pots, fresh lettuce and beets standing upright, and knowing the huge root-bound fern and ever-struggling hydrangea been given the freedom to breathe and expand well beyond the restrictions of terra cotta pots.

All this seemed to symbolize my thoughts about my dad moving on, growing beyond the confines of this earthly body.  My take is that he'd see again those who were important to him and who had gone on before him.  Gosh, maybe that even included Carl, certainly my mom and his mom and his siblings, maybe even James Arness, the star of the TV series Gunsmoke.  They'd seen each other at San Onofre when they were surfing.

Alas, I resigned myself to the the fact that I had planned too much to plant and it wasn't going to be completed before I left.  I got okay with it.  I let go of my outlining, gave it all up.

Less than two hours later, in evening dusk, Sal, my gardener and yard expert, and I were dumping, planting, watering; testing, tuning, and fixing the sprinkles (his word for sprinklers), and sharing thoughts about our families.  

I left for S CA the next morning with a sense of joy the yard was ready for autumn.  Once there I  attempted to calmly get through chores of sorting, reading files, shredding, re-sorting, then re-re-sorting, finding homes for items that deserved new owners. 

Each time I started to feel a bit anxious about the project, not knowing the ins and outs of the local city, wondering if I was doing the right thing at the right moment, I'd give it up, wait for a sense of direction or an impulse to take the proper step.   And each time anxiety was replaced with calm. 

The cable box got returned.

His favorite instrument, an electronic organ, found a new home when I asked a guy if he knew somebody who could use an organ.  He said he did.  It was him!  Next morning it was gone.

I 'stumbled' upon a local homeowners association, while searching for Goodwill, that took everything I had in the rental car except the rental car contract and the usable clothes, for their flea market the next day.  Fifteen minutes before it closed, I found the Goodwill trailer and donated the clothes.

Then I'd think of the garden at home.  How it was prepared for the autumn, that there was logic and love expressed there, only just now realizing at this moment of writing, that the garden transition took place on the first day of autumn.  And I'd smile.  And I'd think of my dad.  How he was transitioning just as easily.  That it wasn't up to me to force changes or seasons.

Then I remembered the song sung by The Byrds in 1965, Turn, Turn, Turn, taken from Ecclesiastes 3 in The Bible.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

I got home last night.  I went to church this morning and did the flowers for the service.  I picked up a senior friend I take to and from church each Sunday.  I met friends for lunch afterward.

Then I went into the garden.  Seeing it in the daylight was much better than in dusky shadows.  It was all I hoped it would be.  I picked the first apples with the apple grabber and filled a large basket.  They are gorgeous, crisp, big, delicious, and multi-purpose, meant for sharing.  Many more are waiting to fulfill their perfect purpose  It's the season, you know. 

Live richly,

marilyn

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