Thursday, June 08, 2006

...lessons from my garden

There is an old rose bush in my flower garden. It was there first. We moved on to an old homestead and actually moved an old house off its foundation and built our log house in its place. The wonderful thing about building in an old homestead is that you get to have the delight of old trees- we have an apricot tree that is thirty feet high and about a hundred years old. Hollyhocks, peonies, sweet peas all come up year after year. Then there is this old rose. My mother came to help get the garden ready- ten years ago- and we went about it in the way my grandmother and greatgrandmother would have. Double digging the rich soil- putting more compost, planting the clumps of flowers she brought with her- adding some more from the local nursery, and she gave me advice about dealing with this old rose, whose roots were so deep under the ground we could never find it. So I was instructed to snip all its shoots that dared to come up in to my flower garden. If that didnt work- cover everything else and poison it to death- something I never got around to doing.
Over the years, the rose and I have had sort of a battle and I have been losing. Losing to its shoots, sticking here and there in my flower garden. I have also been losing the battle with the weeds and battle with remembering to water. I have been failing miserably to carry on the tradition of my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother- all who are magical when it comes to growing flowers.
Then it hit me this morning- my artistery doesn't come from my flower garden- it comes from my art. My mother, my grandmother, my great granmother are all artist and their canvas are the glorious gardens around their house, the lovely bouquets of flowers on their tables. But I am also contining the tradition of beautiful things, just in a different medium. The old rose and me are a lot a like. Even though it had to fight to let it shoots see the light of day- year after year they kept coming up. My artistery has had the same battle. Year after year, even though it was pushed back down and other things took the place of importance, my need to create, kept coming up, showing itself to me- wether I let it grow or snipped it off.
So now, the old rose and I have a "treaty" it will be allowed to be what it is and fill my flower garden and I will watch in anticipation to see what it becomes and I will allow myself to be what I am- an artist and writer- and watch in aticapation to see what I become.

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