This marks my third annual post about Dead Flowers. Each year I trot out the same beautiful old song and I take some pretty okay pictures of really breathtaking dead and dying stuff.
Last year this was the post. The end of the season was a relief, as I was more than ready to close the door on what seemed a fairly disorganized first attempt. Though I pumped out bouquets in 2013, the garden itself was an absolute mess. So was I upset when the living jungle dried into a manageable botanical skeleton? Hell no.
The previous year, I was also prepared for that land-sleep. Full-time farming is physically and psychically exhausting. Our growing season here is short, and it ramps upward steadily. Days were 12 hours long; carts full of melons were heavier than you could possibly imagine; pigs' buckets full of grain hauled over a five foot fence made my shoulders into sailors' knots.
On any given day, that will shepherd you into a solid sleep. And over the course of eight months, it will shape you into a sort of very-chill robot (in both good and bad ways; the good trumping the bad, I think). When I walked out into the first frost-covered morning in October, all of my muscles immediately relaxed (and then promptly seized up; it was pretty frigid, after all).
Frost meant that there was an end, and it was in sight.
But this year - this year I didn't toil that hard. I was a weekend floral warrior (note 2015 costume idea) and I was fairly organized about it. This year I'm only getting better at this stuff. I don't need a break. I want to plant a new crop. I don't want it to be over.
But if there's one thing I'm learning this fall, it's that lamenting endings or wishing for a cycle-less existence is not only futile (and is it), it's also naive. I gotta have winter, though I DON'T F*CKING WANT IT, because I have to learn how to do business taxes, and use Quick Books or something, and because I need to read poems and write and think and not move so fast.
Ripping out these sweet old beasts was a surrender to a kind of irresistible reality, but it was also immediately followed by the planting of hundreds of bulbs. Probably way too many bulbs. Copious, impulse-buy buckets of bulbs. Tulips, narcissus, muscari, hyacinth, leucojum. I can't even remember what leucojum is.
But what can one do, when faced with a period of darkness, but do some work toward future goodness, and try and try and try again? Huh? Huh?!
. . . okay, Reader. NOW you can listen to the song.
(This blog posts' title is Virginia Woolf's, from Between the Acts, which I just read and which, if you have a taste for Woolfiness ((aka if you're anything like me)) you should also read. I promise it's good.)