Poor Will's Almanack: June 21 – 28, 2011

Jun 21, 2011

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Middle Summer.

The more I try to landscape my yard, the more I find that the plants are following their own minds and their own way, some taking over, others being choked out. No garden space, even in a perennial garden, stays the same for long. Well, maybe it does for a year or two, but then it shifts gradually over three or four years so that I don't see it move, and then I come upon it and suddenly realize that it is nothing like I remember it.

The garden's motion is a little like my own.

I find that recent photographs of me show someone I've never seen before. I check the mirror, and I see my reflection is not the same as the image in the photos. In the same way that the garden gets out of hand because I see it the way it was or might have been, my face and body have outstripped my honesty. The objective camera catches me off guard.

Not that something like that should startle me, but the middle of life is like Middle Summer; it seems to be a long and safe plateau. I get used to the green trees, the singing birds, the flowers, and the same warm weather day after day. I try to see things the way they are and the way I've nurtured them, but that's never quite the same from one minute to the next. The inner garden lags behind the unattended outer one, and then it's fall.

Next week on Poor Will's Almanack: notes for the second week of Early Summer. In the meantime, don't let the garden surprise you.