Thursday evening I finished my final project for the school year, submitted my work electronically, and then went outside to see what might be growing in the garden after my slapdash planting jobs a week and two ago. While I am not at all confident my grades for the last two months’ work will be to my liking, I can honestly say I am almost completely unconcerned. That’s how much I am ready for this school year to be over.
Yes, I took on more than I should have done, and yes, there were days during which I was wild-eyed, humming the song below through gritted teeth and at a maniacal pitch, and yes, if you ask me tomorrow I will tell you that I care very deeply about how well I understood and conveyed my understanding of the subject matter in my last two projects.
For today, however, and today only, I really don’t care. I have nearly finished the intensive part of my docent-training, I have completed my second year of diaconate studies, and my heavy tutoring program workload feels lighter by the week. Stick a fork in me, I’m done!
But enough about me, let’s talk about my garden. Very quietly as I do not wish to disturb the neighborhood varmints that are apparently asleep on the job this spring.
I have sprouts!
Oops. Shhhh. Let’s try to keep this just between us. Sotto voce in the manner of David Attenborough: corn, pole beans, black beans, tiger eye beans, dragon tongue beans, sugar snap peas, broccoli, pumpkins, zucchini, lettuces and arugula are all growing, so far almost completely unnoticed by the animals that have threatened their cousins’ existence in the past. Sure, there are a few missing nibbles here and there, but nowhere near the full-on destruction reminiscent of an untended fast food salad bar mercilessly tossed by the noonday lunch crowd that we have borne witness to in the past. No strawberry plant life stirrings yet, but I haven’t given up all hope there either.
I have a theory. This busy academic year? I had neither time nor inclination to keep the bird-feeders full, or to clean them or even keep them partially full. I never did put out the big one I have reserved for winter and the appeasement of greedy mourning doves. For years in the winter, we have fed nearly as many chipmunks and squirrels with the spilled seed as we intentionally fed the birds. This winter even the hawks gave up hope for easy-pickings and stopped hanging around our backyard. And so, I think most of the small herbivore rodents moved on to seedier pastures months ago. Either that or I put everything — all the seeds and seedlings — in so late this year they gave up on me. If they even keep track of such a thing. Not complaining either way.