Early morning in the garden, indeed, visiting the garden at any time time during the day is almost always a calming, salutary experience; it’s a natural remedy for many ailments both real and imaginary.
Inside the perimeter of the deer fence, there is no risk of contracting Covid-19, and though it might be prudent to wear an N95 mask when I’m shaking dry soil off of the weeds I’m pulling or running the tiller, both of which tend to throw a lot of dust into the air.
There are no vaccine passports required for admission to the garden. There is no cover-charge or need for a reservation nor any need for any kind of mask-on, mask-off ritual of any kind, such as those required for simple admission to all kinds of venues, public and private.
I once attended a lecture devoted to the garden as an intermediary space: not inside the home; outdoors, yet not fully within the public sphere. I liked the idea; that’s probably why it stayed with me. It’s probably why I like to practice gardening now.
What remains of the teacher in me reminds me that ‘garden’ is both a noun and a verb: a noun when I’m outside the fence, looking in; a verb once I’ve passed through the gate.
It occurs to me that many would benefit from having some kind of garden, especially during these increasingly maddening times.
On this Labour Day, I hope to find myself in the garden once again, not labouring, hopefully, but moving continually, where time is not measured by any clock but where I apply myself steadily, then realize how much has been accomplished once I’m done.