I walk the alleys some mornings and I have watched how gardens become bedraggled and overgrown with weeds at this point in the autumn, and all the intent of the gardener seems to be overgrown as well.
Gardens, like houses or yards or jobs or cars or families are certainly products of intent – either directly or indirectly. And the intrusion of natural decay or lack of care, in contrast, belies a breakdown of intent and application.
The enemies of intent are numerous. Aging often wears away the stone of decisions, as do weeds and seasons, insects, disease, mistakes, indifference, loss, depression, discouragement.
Even though I am the landscaper, and even though the land may cede momentarily to my dream for color and sustenance, I know it will all break down and be pushed out by weather and invasive species.
But retreating from the realization that all is vanity, I find comfort in reflecting that my garden exists best or only in my mind. And if its form emerges not so much from the soil of my yard but from my intent and the slime of my cerebrum, then I need not worry about dandelions, euonymus, creeping Charlie, or chickweed, age or climate change.
Space, I know deep down, is not external, not something outside of myself, Time is not simply a matter of September or May. Beauty only lies in the eye of the beholder. Whether I dig or plant or reap or not, the vision in my heart is true, memory or fantasy growing up to choke out the weeds and storms of change.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the final week of early fall. In the meantime, don’t be discouraged by the passing of summer. It is really still inside you.