For the past several days, I have kept having the uncomfortable sensation that I am waiting for something. This is unusual for me. Most of the time, I am pretty content. In the winter season, I might feel this way as I dig into an inspiring course or an illuminating book. But in June? This is an altogether unfamiliar sensation.
The wild harvest season has arrived. I am thoroughly enjoying going out and collecting. I find that the calm of picking wild rose petals, for instance, makes me peaceful and introspective in a sort of way that has me thinking of how I can be less assuming and learn to let go. I have been gathering the “flowering” stems of plantain, chives and alliums, as well as a variety of wild grasses – I have no inkling of the different names of the grasses. Forget me mots and geum, as well. All of these are hanging from the studio ceiling.
Still, though, I am putting all of these botanicals away for later use. Even two or three weeks ago, the anticipation of how I would be putting this creative harvest to use at a future date felt more exciting than it does now. Every time I strung a bundle of plants up to dry, I felt fulfilled. Staring up at all the hanging plants gave me a sense of satisfaction. Why has this changed?
Maybe what I am waiting for is as simple as the opportunity to create something beautiful. To put something lovely together now. Right now. Like, today! So, this brings me to the question: is it the weather that has me unsettled?
My life is ruled by seasons. January and February begin in the greenhouse and I dig up the dahlia tubers. March and to a lesser extent, April, have me planting lots outdoors. May brings flowers and on the last day of the month, I always sow the Brussels sprouts seeds. In June the vegetable and flower harvests are under way and flowers are being gathered to put into bouquets. I harvest the wild plants for my classic skin balm. In July, the entire garden is bursting at the seams, with lots of options for putting together arrangements, and with the freezer beginning to fill up; the apple trees get thinned. August brings the start of the apple harvest and I spend at least two hours each day drying apples and placing sliced apples, wild blackberries and loads of vegetables into the freezer for winter time baking and meals. October is for dried flower wreaths and November and December for evergreen wreaths. For a few weeks after Christmas, there will be a break and a time to breathe, and maybe I will take a class to recharge.
That is the year. Well, actually, that is not the year! Not this year, anyway. I suppose what I am waiting for is for more than lettuce, chard and kale. Although I keep telling myself how much I am enjoying this mellow spring, that it is fantastic to feel no great urgency to wake up at 5am each morning to deal with the overwhelm of the garden, I suppose my natural rhythms know better. In truth, I am yearning for flowers to admire and marvel at, and to arrange on my brand new wooden table. I can’t wait to bite into a fresh cucumber, rather than struggle just to keep these plants alive. There is even part of me that wants to fast forward to a time in the future, to altogether skip this summer that might never happen, to blink and appear when the plants and flowers are all dried and I can play.
Clearly, if I am fantasizing about getting to autumn, this weather has me all messed up. I can’t be the only one!
But knowledge is power. And now that you have let me figure out what is going on…because it has all come together at this very moment in time, while I have been writing for us both. I can take a deep breath and let go of all my expectations. I can find the place deep inside where my patience lives. I can appreciate the quiet beauty where I find it, such as in my shelling and snow peas that are in flower, the peony that is about to open, and the Icelandic poppy that should be cracking open any day now to reveal the first of those collective flowers. I will take pleasure in the tiny green stalks of dahlias that are breaking through the surface of the soil, one by one. I will feel, in all its glory, the anxiety and anticipation of whether all of the dahlia plants will make it (some of those I ordered seemed unlikely to grow, but I planted them anyways). And I will return to my habit of going back to bed in the morning after my daughter leaves for school, to sit with my coffee to research and write and to dream.
What other choice do I have? Honestly, spending my time uncomfortably waiting is no way to have a rich life. What other way, than rich, is there to live?
Wishing you your own great week!
Your Local Small Market is this Saturday, June 4th from 11am-2pm at the Point Roberts Community Center. Come visit us!