change is good

I know better than to apologize for not blahblahging for the better part of a year but I am sorry because it’s put me out of practice. And I have things I want to (remember how to) say.

For starters, this:

Somewhere close to 15 years ago I came back home to RI from the West Coast because I needed a change. While searching for gainful employment my mother’s best friend’s sister offered me a temporary part-time gardening job at Blithewold. Less than a month or so in I felt like I had won the life’s-work lottery and stopped looking for anything else.

I was lucky to land a career in public horticulture, and you know how much I loved it! But in the last couple of years I have felt a shift. I’m not above calling it a mid-life crisis. Even as I created a new garden at Mount Hope Farm from scratch, and helped renovate others there, I started to feel more wiped than excited. More nappish than ambitious. More -meh- than evangelical. And because I’m as tuned in as the average lapsed yogi I tried to pay attention to that.

It occurred to me that maybe horticulture chose me. That’s cool. I’m so glad it did! But because I still want to want to garden, here at Squeezins especially, I decided it was time to make my own career choice and fill my workadays with something different. Something non-plant-related.

Once again I have been lucky. I have always loved libraries as a place to go where no one will give you the hairy eyeball for sitting quietly and getting shit done. Or for wandering aimlessly, staring into the middle distance, and getting nothing done. Also all of the books! I don’t feel the need to read every single one but just being around so much information and different perspectives is reassuring. I could know things. Understand more. There’s an app a book for that. I used to dream of living in the stacks; I always figured working in them would be the next best thing.

clean pawI looked forward to every shift I worked at Rogers Free Library’s main circulation desk and I will miss that place, the staff and patrons madly. But I’m wicked excited to start full-time tomorrow as the circulation supervisor at the Middletown Public Library.

My fingernails are clean; dirt tattoos and thorn scars have faded. This blog (and its title) might need to change with the times. Or maybe as I start gardening for actual pleasure again I’ll dig in here again too. I want to want to. I think I will. (Pretty sure. Mostly. Maybe.) Thanks, as always — and more than ever — for reading.

An hour a day

just sitting in the garden with a smiling dog at my feetI was talking with someone today who says she spends about an hour a day weeding her garden after work. I admire her dedication and am a little envious of her free time on the weekends. No doubt even a half an hour a day in this garden would be enough to keep the weeds more or less away but suddenly I can think of alternative uses for my time out there. For instance, on any given weekday evening, I might rather perform tasks that involve consumption of snacks and bevvies and perhaps even a little dozing and drooling if I’m feeling truly ambitious.fizzie bevvie in the garden

There have been days lately, evenings really, after work, when I could feel my garden beckon but I just couldn’t face it. What the hell? What’s the point of having a garden of my own if I avoid spending time in it? I have an evil tendency – call it a Puritan work ethic if you’re feeling particularly generous, an annoying character flaw if not – and it only allows for relaxation when the work is done. People with this particular dis-ease know, of course, that the work is never done. But I decided tonight, in a tectonic attitude shift, that the important thing about “an hour a day” is just that I spend it – doing/not doing something – in the garden.a blurry doze in the garden (or what's a chaise lounge for?)

Do you spend an hour a day in your garden?