It takes all afternoon to rake out the strawberries and the lavender. I'm as out of shape as the garden. As unkempt and unruly. We're both a serious mess.
As I push the full wheelbarrow again and again deep into the woods, the barred owl gives a running, run-on commentary, the cardinal chants a critique, the chickadee chimes in. I ignore them. I'm busy contemplating the layers of the past year bumping along and then drifting about the forest floor:
leaves last fall shook all yellow and noise from the nearly poplars,
flower heads June spiked purple and perfume,
and the grasses midsummer made me too lazy to pull, grasses winter wove into pillowy nests for clever, cold mice
and now spring pushes out, like that, from wheelbarrow to woods. Heartless we are. Homeless they are.
I think on that as I roll the squeaky barrow back to the beds for more. Clever clever. I am springing the season from its clichés I am. I bounce along the lawn. I should write that down.
But then I am brought to, brought out of my silly self.
The shade garden does it this time. Interrupts. Trips me up.
Or rather, the snowdrops do, their bobbing bells fuzzling up my thoughts as they fuzzle up the sun--no sound necessary--they sing out their now-ness, their this-ness, their me-ness, giving the sun a run for its dazzle.
My metaphors melt and pool around my boots. My words float off. My thoughts act as though I never had them.
Okay okay, I leave the wheelbarrow, leave it all, lie down with those lowly snowdrops, and listen.