Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Gleaning

On Saturday, with much help from my dad and a little from Westley, I did my first real yard work. When we first moved, back in December, I tried a little raking. But the "leavings" (buh-dum-chh!) from the four big poplars behind the house had clearly gone untouched for several seasons. It was more than I and my flimsy rake could manage on our own.

Now, several falls' worth of leaves, along with all manner of weeds and dead branches are stuffed into a bin labeled "yard waste." And what doesn't fit in the bin is oh-so-neatly piled in the back yard. I'm kicking myself for not taking "before" and "after" photos, because the effect of our outdoor spring cleaning is incredible. (I suppose I could still take "after" photos, but it's currently gray and wet outside, which doesn't seem particularly spring-like.)

As I raked and hoed and forked (dandelions), I kept finding things hiding in the weeds. And not just fat earthworms, either. There was holly! Tulips! A rosebush! that?

"It looks like you have rhubarb here," my dad said, pointing to a patch of dirt.

Wow. All of these beautiful things, masked by old, dead leaves. It was incredibly satisfying to see the change, and also strangely inspiring.

"I need to spring-clean my life," I told Rob that evening.

I need to break some bad habits, and re-establish good ones. I need to stop sleeping in my make-up. I need a bedtime. I need to take my vitamins instead of leaving them sitting on the counter like nutritional good-luck charms. But mostly, I need to get rid of the clutter. There's the clutter that seems to grow like mold throughout the house. And because I'm home so much of the time, I have lots of time to be driven crazy by it. Unfortunately, the most pernicious, crazy-making clutter is all in my head.

I wish I had gardening tools for my mind. Something that could pull out negative thought-patterns by the roots and clear them away. Or maybe I have the tools already, but it's going to take more than me, alone with my rake to get the job done.