Thursday, January 31, 2013

Carry water

In the dry heat at the bach, at first I flop.
 But the garden is crying with dryness. Weakened plants attract pests. The tomatoes have a serious thirst.
And so I begin to carry water, bucket after bucket, up the steps and into the garden.
I'm glad I'm not a day or two later. The tomatoes are laden, but none of the fruit has ripened. There's plenty of heat, and well composted soil, but water is needed too.
And the courgettes are parched, bravely putting out their sunshine flowers, in which the bees come to dawdle and roll, but the little courgettes are pathetic. They start with a bang and end with a whimper, in the form of a little yellow soppy snout. Two courgettes did form completely, but are distorted (thin, fat, then thin again) and hard.
Up and down the steps I go, in the cool of the morning and the cool of the evening, carrying bucket after bucket of water. Yes, I know what it is to have lost the well.
I even dare to plant a few oak-leafed lettuces, watering them in well.
The flax watches in its own cool way, for it can thrive on little. The rest of the garden heaves a big sigh of thanks as it drinks deep.
And to my surprise, a small poem forms, popping into my awareness like a baby courgette.
And after only 4 days of this, before I leave, I am able to harvest the vegetables that have perked up and grown as if in a hothouse during my visit, and even the first tomato that has begun to ripen.
It all happened so fast.
Pouring glass
after glass
of shining life
into my body;
knowing that 
tending
is not what I do
while waiting 
for the real
thing.
It is
the real
thing.

15 comments:

Joan said...

Loved your Summer Newsletter Juliet. I have been away from my computer for so long! End of March I leave to walk The Camino in Spain, and walking has become the focus of my days, both physically ..walking walking, and spiritually as ponder and read about pilgrimage and Spain, and gather words and practices that inspire me. The preparation has been an integral part of the journey.

Joan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
juliet said...

* Joan, so glad to hear from you. I know several people who have walked the Camino, or are intending to. My friend Claudia Pond Eyley has illustrated a delightful children's book about the Camino called 'Lilibut's Big Adventure', by Maris O'Rourke. (Lillibut is a pig!) I read it often to Mira, so we 'walk' the Camino too.
This will be such a pilgrimage for you.

Hotly Spiced said...

You have a lot going on in your garden and thank goodness you were able to water your garden before any of your harvest was wilted. What a workout for you though! xx

Diana Drent said...

Watering your garden and in combination with the heat it should be totally fine. And it does.

Do you have a large garden?

juliet said...

* Charlie, it was a great workout. Who needs a gym when the garden means climbing steps with full buckets!

* Diana, the garden is fairly modest, since it's 40 minutes out of town and I'm never sure if I'll be there to water it at the critical times.

Thanks Charlie and Diana, good to see you here.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet .. it's always good to read your posts as they appreciate so much .. and take that extra time to stand and stare, while caring ... so pleased you were able to harvest one or two home-grown veggies ..

At least the bach isn't that far - lucky you ... time to think while driving out .. and then that 'flop' .. and watering souls, body and veggies ...

Love seeing them - cheers Hilary

juliet said...

* Hilary, what a nice appreciative comment. I'm so lucky to have the bach; it keeps reminding me to stop and connect with the land.
Thanks a lot.

Vicki Lane said...

Giving water is no less than giving life at times. Such a perfect elemental task.

Diana Drent said...

40 minutes out of town? That is not close. Maybe automatic watering?

Just an idea.

juliet said...

*Vicki, you put it so beautifully. Thank you.

* Diana, yes it's a bit of a drive. I am on tank water, so there is not much pressure and because the garden is uphill an irrigation system is not possible. But something automatic would be nice.

anissa said...

I too, am appreciating the gift of water. It is so hot and dry. I have stepped back from my beloved garden, trying to make the little water in our tank last til the rain. Surrendering into summer. x

juliet said...

* Anissa, I hope the rain is trickling into your tank right now! I've tried printing out some flower templates, but couldn't get the right one to download so have made a bit of a wonky copy!

Lynley said...

I've been using the bucket method to water here at times too Juliet.

I am nurturing the zucchini and my new Feijoa bush with extra care.

My zucchini has been steady in production and the quality of each vegetable has been very good.

Gardening reminds us of the ups and downs of life and how important self care is.

Ripening tomatoes...yum

juliet said...

* Lynley, using a bucket certainly keeps us aware of the need to conserve water. A Feijoa bush must be precious, and you will be watching it for delicious fruit when the time comes.
Thank you.