Posts Tagged ‘gardener’s prose’

I could hardly wait to have you under my nails, on the soles of my shoes, and my wintered stiff knees. There is humus, and compost, and a winter’s worth of water to be found. Last year’s leaves and petals, blossoms and seeds in the mix as well. But you’re hardened and packed, mottled and inhospitable until I nurture and massage the air and life back into you there. Whether shaded or under the noonday sun, I’ll till and turn, mix and churn…and give you a fresh start and make up your bed. Come seed or start, bulb or stem…You’ll give me what I desire, and you’ll get to do what you do best, host life, seek light…the morning dew and evening rains.
Ah, the soil of Mother Nature. The good earth beneath my feet and between my fingers. The smells and textures and promise of what is to come. We have a partnership and mutual gratitude for the efforts of one another. There is little more satisfying to the eye, the palate, the nose and touch, as the gift of things I grow and harvest, bunch and display…or simply allow to flourish and run the course of the seasons. The giving of time, touch, and love and returning of life, scents, taste and a feast to the eyes…
I shall awake some days at dawn, and join the robin there at the tug of a meal. Coffee on the patio, or a seat on a faithful old stump. The songs of morning, glistening drops of infant dawn’s dew decorate the web and leaf, blade and pane. And I shall privately take in the chorus of silence, the occasional song. The long shadows and rose hues on the horizon there. I will give thanks for the opening of the night tightened petals, the yawns of Mother Nature as some waken and others seek slumber.
Tis the ways of life, the tending and harvest. The wait, the reward. The effort and the companionship of what only God can create…with a little help from the gardener’s touch, the ancient pump and cyclical brass that extends a blessing of water from spigot to roots. I will lay down my head after the first stars appear, and return to your embrace while coffee is fresh and the last stars fade. And I will start my day, no matter the tasks at hand, with the love returned, from the humble kingdom that is within the property lines of my nurtured land.
I can hardly wait, to feel you there under my feet while I walk to a magical little spot to take it all in and begin my day…in my garden. Love you old friend and my personal Constant Gardener; Glenda Dawn.

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I stole away the other afternoon…to convene with some memories made in the lighter months. I went to the home of a friend, a lover of sun and all things green that thrive in the sprinkler mist, sun showers, and morning dew.
There were none of those things there to greet me. Just a benign winter sun, giving light without heat and a breeze not to offer relief from heat. But it did deliver a chill and need to face my back to it.
And there was the walk of cobblestones with surf smoothed bits of colored glass, pebble, and shell in between. We had wandered the shore on serene afternoons with a dream and design in mind, that beckoned us to U.S. 101 and beaches to the south.

And on this day of frost and fading light…I was again wandering in brine soaked sand with the surf in my ears, and gulls hovering and singing their shoreline declarations in the steady breeze. And out of habit, I reached for that familiar hand to hold…and instead found but a memory. Ah, but such memories are so worth embracing and recalling time and again.

frosty cone

Over half way through January and the daylight gets longer with each dawn. I see through the shadows and bare branches that the crow still feeds, the squirrel sleeps, and the critters in pasture huddle near to each other. And today I stand near to the place where the spring roses go to bud, the bulbs slowly reach, and the robin seeks a place of safety to fashion a nest…but this is all months away. For now I’ll unwrap a few saved moments and memories as I stand in the midst of this slumbered and treasured place…the fond things I’ve saved up for a rainy day. It’s not quite raining yet, but those ominous clouds are sign that a stormy evening is on the way…

It’s all good and it’s alright, for I know that the green is on the way…I saw winter wheat decorating a brown field just the other day. And a hawk was on the wing, in search of company, of a meal on the run. In search of a warm breeze, should the western gorge send a sweet Chinook stirring this way…And you can be sure that I too will turn my cheek to the sun then, and let a window down enough to feel a hint of spring on a winter’s day.

And I know you’ll occasionally look upon the hoses for watering, and tools for tilling and turning and planting of starts, seeds, bulb and the promising bare stem…And like a prayer uttered, we look on longingly and fondly, and busy ourselves while we hope and wait. God will answer, and winter will always be followed with spring.

With the gathering of fog on the rivers near to here, I listen to the chorus from a V of Canada geese passing overhead.


And I know you rest assured by a faded rose hanging in the place near the book shelf, and over the mirror in your room. And know the gloves and watering can are eagerly awaiting your touch, as you anticipate that day as well. For now, I will wander near to the places there on a quiet afternoon, where nature and your knowing hands will soon provide me blossom, bud, gifts of new green, and heavenly scented blooms.

Matthew Landsman



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In the final throes of winter, especially this year when the infant spring is rather meek to emerge and take on the starkness of the naked branches, dormant fields and garden plots…The bulbs of fall and volunteer annuals are still evading the frost, and buds are hesitant and not about to swell as naive fools to fall victim to a killing frost.

But then and now I have had my own constant gardener, Glenda, to remind me that warmer dawns and greener views are but a Chinook breeze away. She’ll prepare to soften stiffened gloves and winter born visions of her patch of heaven on God’s green earth. And that dark earth waits with eager anticipation the attentions and loving intentions from her knowing hands.

There will be dirtied knees, hoses unfurled, spots of shade for those things that thrive in darkened corners, heartier varieties for the blossoms that can weather the midday sun. She knows these things, how to create a place of refuge and retreat there on that plot of earth bordering the canal that brings life to the desert.

No matter where I’ve roamed on this continent, I have passed nurseries and flower beds, trees for privacy and trees for shade. And for over two decades, the petals, freshly nurtured earth and shades of blue have always brought a glad feeling and reassurance that she remains. That spring will always closely follow the barren months. That hope is rarely lost even when the night is far longer than the day…

I seek shelter in the knowing that if I chance to pass her way there even just in my mind, there will be a potential for glimpses of April blossoms, hints of summer evening scents, and the essence of cool grass between toes, even in the dead of January when life has ebbed nearly into only memory. I’ll always find my gardener, and I hope when she is in need of love of a friend and words from her personal writer, that she’ll always find me…Matthew Landsman

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