Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Gardener Tries to Control Time

Growing basil in the cold.

A chill is in the air.

I feel like this is a momentous occasion. It's Saturday, the end of a furiously fast week. It's the first of the season's freezes, at the end of a hectic two-garden summer. It's almost the end of a milestone year that included two graduations and a hell-bent for leather pace at the office. I feel like I'm riding a deranged steed, bareback, yet still holding on.

But yes it's Saturday and just above freezing outside in the garden. And I've started a little experiment to see if I can keep some green growing over the winter. Last Saturday, I bought two basil starters and slipped them into a fresh serving of potting soil and placed a bell jar over them to grow in a sunny spot on my deck. Last night, the first light freeze of the season brought white frost to the grass. Not a hard freeze at all. The Swiss chard is still holding its own and so are the impatiens. The last rose of summer may be singing its swan song, but this morning, I went out and snapped a picture of my basil inside its cozy terrarium. Well sure enough, it's as if I've stopped time and it's the First of May all over again.

Now, would that I could stop time so easily. If I could. Here's what I'd do. This week, I would have stopped the clock on Thursday at about noon. That's when my sweet girl Claire was walking home from her school in Ecuador and a man grabbed her from behind and a women covered her mouth and robbed her of her back pack. Could I have that moment back please, so I could fix it and make it go away?

On Tuesday, I would have stopped the clock at about 12:30 at the gym. That's when the exhilaration in my dance class was at its peak and the beat of the music and the sweet synchronicity of ladies in lockstep brought joy to my heart. Could I have that moment back please, just to savor it and make it last a little bit longer?

At work, on any given day, I wished that I could have stopped the clock just to get ahead on my load. Seemed every time, I finished something, the next thing was at my throat. With a new boss in town, the demand is going to be not only exciting and fun, but aggressively intense. Could I have a little more time please to get it all done?

And now it's Saturday, a beautiful chill morning, sunny outside, my fireplace is roaring, the coffee tastes good. Can I stop the clock right now? The Putterer

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