Burning the Old Ways

My day was in the garden. After a horrific evening previously, I woke feeling rough and in dire need of water. We both did – my boyfriend and I. We had been terribly – terribly irresponsible, and were definitely paying the price in guilt over our own drunken over-spending, as well as the general self-loathing that proceeds a night of such heavy lubrication.

Yet somehow, as we were draped across the couch in a pool of feeling sorry for ourselves, inspiration was found.

“I have to get up. I’m doing yard work!” Perhaps my words were not as concise as that, but the general gist was there.

The day hadn’t decided what it was doing yet, whether it was going to pull the blankets back and allow the sun to shine through, if they blankets were going to be wet and rain on me, or perhaps they were to stay put to witness my work ethic. The sky was very indecisive about its actions, and went through all the motions to test them out before settling on letting the sun out to play.

Mostly, my goal was to bring the already pulled heaps of sticker-bushes and weeds over to the potential burn area, and tidy the yard as much as possible. I actually went out with the excitement and intent of putting to use the heavy rake my mother had lent  us. I wanted to see dirt where we had pulled everything up, instead of the roots of stubborn runner plants, fallen leaves of the rhododendrons, etc. However, I felt silly making piles to go into the wheelbarrow that had not been touched or examined since we moved in, especially since there were already so many tall piles waiting for that barrow already.

I woke the barrow from it’s sideways slumber cuddled with blocks of cement, and put it straight to work, taking no mercy with the viciousness in which I threw the yard debris.

As the piles got smaller, and I needed to bend down more and more, I grew tireder and tireder. The hangover wind number two was taking effect. A nap was calling me.

Meanwhile, my boyfriend had been busying himself in the house, doing some furniture re-arranging and some much needed spring cleaning. I am almost certain I feel asleep while talking with him, and woke snuggled with my cat, who decided it was time to take advantage of my shields let down (as if it’s hard for him to do).

It wasn’t a long nap – they rarely are – and I was back out in the hard, hauling the debris to the fire pit, which my boyfriend had gotten started. We were now fighting for daylight, trying to get as much of it burned as possible before it was no longer possible to see just what it was that we were grabbing at.

I found a chair and brought it outside to sit beside the fire, while my boyfriend continued to keep it active. I watched the sparks fly out, and marveled at the display of pure energy in front of me. The fire burned for hours before I finally decided to come in, and attempt to go to bed.

 

I was on Pinterest earlier in the morning, before my out-of-doors adventuring, and spied a book that I had when I was in Wales, and had spurred my inspiration for gardening previously – A Real Witch’s Garden by Kate West. In it were little gardening tips tied in with Pagan rituals and the like. I really enjoyed that book, and I wish I had kept a hold of it.

In it, it talked about spring cleaning, something I have never really been one for. My boyfriend has been keeping true to it, repeating over and over that is his priority now, meaning much more than simply cleaning out the house.

As I was pulling up roots and weeds and loading them into the wheelbarrow, I considered what I need to be doing to fully take advantage of the energy of the season. What am I doing to clear away the clutter?

“It’s so nice,” my boyfriend said, as we sat watching the fire, holding hands. “It was taking over our yard, and we pulled all this stuff out, and now – poof! – it’s not there any more, burned away.”

There is so much metaphor in spring cleaning, and bonfires as well. What aspects are being turned away, what old is being thrown out, what new will I bring in?

I was so content with all the work I did outside, and have been doing outside. Inside the house has seemed so stagnant recently, so I was glad that my boyfriend took on that task. I made sure that both doors leading in and out of the house were left open, to take away the stale air, try and let the draft take hold of the stilled energies.

I worry that I’ll lose motivation. I worry that my ambition for school is just a phase I’m going through, that the momentum won’t stay for very long. I think that’s why I started this blog, to make sure that I kept my passion, to help me alter my way of thinking, since I knew the quarter was starting a dangerous distance away.

And now it’s only a week away.

I won’t lie, I’m starting to get scared. I am worried about money, I am worried that I’ll be overwhelmed. I’m worried about a great deal of things, and beginning to fight mini panicky moments. But time is sweeping me forward. My actions can either be something sturdy, worth growing, something beautiful that will increase every year, or I can just be another weed that will some day get pulled up and thrown in a burn pile.

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And I Say Nay, Nature!

I’m sore from gardening. That means I’m doing it right. Currently our back yard is pretty destroyed, chunks of tree everywhere, blackberry bushes previously, neatly  wrapping around living tall things, now slumped lifelessly across the yard. Tortured stocks of demonicphoto 2 – I have no idea what the hell they are, but they’re prickly as all hell with fuchsia flowers – gouged from the earth by their stubborn, desperate roots, tossed into what will be the goat-food pile.

The ivy won’t even know what hit it when we get to it.

And now, I am finally sore. Woman vs nature, a battle I hoped never to engage in. I am nature’s ally, but I have to put my foot down and say –

“No more! This is my backyard and together my boyfriend and I shall enjoy it! daffodils shall be planted instead of your spiny fuschia flowers, and we shall delight in a lawn of chamomile, thyme and lemon balm, so each step shall omit soothing perfumes, and bumble bees shall seek their honey in this oasis in the flat farm lands of Skagit County. No more, nature, shall you dictate what goes on in the soil of this spot, for it is our time now.”

And Nature, in all her beauty and glory, will nod her head in acknowledgement. She knows how to share. She learned it in kindergarten, you see. She will understand, take a step to the side, and lend her healing, green hands when asked. And she shall know, that there is no need for her thorny anger here.

And now, the rain has stopped and the sun is coming out. Perhaps I should go and work in the garden.

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My boyfriend, hard at work

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