Oddments

In search of story


19 Comments

August 14.21: Coping

Does one zinnia a summer make?

This is my one and only zinnia flower. The seedlings that lived with me in the kitchen months ago, transplanted into the garden where they would be the yippee colors of summer, were almost all destroyed by the rabbits. Except for a few which I triaged into pots and then transplanted yet again, desperate for them to make a showing.

The results:

And one flower.

I plant tomatoes to remember Grandpa Mauck, moss roses to remember Grandma O’Hern, and marigolds to remember Dad. Mom is in the whole garden. So, as all gardeners know, the garden is not just expensive, it’s personal. The rabbits tried to take it all from me, and right now on this planet every loss is part of a huge rolling snowball of loss — and helplessness.

If there’s anything I hate, it’s feeling helpless. Life demands at times that we resign ourselves to it, but I can get pretty mad about that. I have lived to wage war this summer. I have potted and repotted and have fought the good fight with Irish Spring soap, rubbing it on flowerpots and shaving it around plants. And I have installed rose canes, which do seem to have some persuasive powers.

I have ultimately saved a small garden corner where my one surviving clump of gaura now thrives, the rabbit-scorned geraniums blaze away, and, in sheer defiance, some marigolds and salvia, once tattered, bloom insanely. Several of those triaged potted things have made a brilliant, if root-bound, showing.

I salute Farmer McGregor, the Grand Pooh-Bah of Rabbit Rage. I aspire to his greatness.

 


6 Comments

September 21.20: Coping

Gather ye zinnias

while ye may,

and salute not much

with patchwork nosegay.

With spikes of cool lavender,

chrysanthemum puff,

in little glass pitchers

not much is enough.

It doesn’t take big

to bring joy to our eyes;

the palette of zinnias

is its own giant size.

 

 

With apologies to Robert Herrick,

and thanks to my dear friend Donna for the zinnia seeds!

 

 


6 Comments

Disconnections: August 14.18

Zinnias in tatters

petals all strewn

who done the deed?

what marauding poltroon?

When I glimpsed the bright sneak

I recanted my whine

my old friends have found me!

the garden’s more mine.

 

Please pardon the slight haze, dear reader. I had to nab this shot through the window.


3 Comments

Disconnections: August 10.18

When your plumbing’s contrary

your car’s in the shop

the travails of the world

are over the top

you’re always on hold

and a half-inch behind

words and your keys

keep slipping your mind

the robocalls pester

the outlook is dour,

call a time-out

and go watch a flower.

 

I do realize that not all life’s problems are so easily airbrushed, and not everyone has a flower to watch, and I wish it were otherwise. But the other day this happened to me. I was utterly out of patience and stormed out to the back, and there was this gorgeous, tranquil little being, totally absorbed in the zinnias. Imagine being hit so hard by calm.