This is before.
The garden bed is choked with Mexican Petunias, dead leaves, weeds.
Some people, including myself at one point, BUY Mexican Petunia, because when they are young they have pretty lavender flowers.
Some people think dead leaves are great in garden beds.
Some people call a weed a volunteer.
This is a collection of rocks, roots and leaves that was in the garden bed.
Oops, rock, roots and leaves, and a small tiny snake.
Um, actually a pretty good size snake, about three feet long.
He's where he belongs, doing his job.
(giving the cats something to stare at...)
And what is this?
A big fat spider living under a rock edge.
I'm not sure what kind it is.
(Sure is ugly...)
Not a Black widow.
There's no red hour glass mark, and the legs are too short.
And not a Brown Recluse, as there is no brown violin mark on his back, and the legs are again too short.
Tickling him with a pine needle, I urge him back into hiding again.
This was our garden to tend.
Its boundaries to defend.
We knew what we were doing.
The petunias, despite their summer blooms had choked the garden bed with their woody gnarled roots and lanky leggy necks.
(We would not allow them to crowd the space.)
The leaves would harbor fungus, and not compost well,
(We wouldn't allow them to bank the borders, and clutter the view.)
The snake we checked to be sure it was harmless.
The spider we questioned, and noted its space.
We spread rich soil to enrich the native clay base, got gritty, and warm, and our faces became covered in smiles and sweat.
We felt good about our day.
I got a call.
A friend who has no time for gardens.
She tends those who are dying.
(Spending days without sleep, as only she know what the dying need.)
She cares for those who are sick.
(Spending years in that watchfulness, gone from her home multiple days each week.)
She fills out forms for those in need.
(Spending hours calculating, and filing, they wouldn't know how.)
She drives long miles to visit those in prison.
(Spending hours traveling for a brief visit and chat, who else would go?)
She opens her home to the homeless.
(Spending her understanding of alcoholism gained from a parent as a child to understand the alcoholic at her door.)
It's hard to say sometimes.
Weeds or flowers.
Dead leaf clutter or the beginning of mulch.
Space or snake.
Harmless or harmful.
Lost boundaries or open heart.
Exquisite care or expressed dysfunction.
Works for her or working her.
A call of God or comforting chaos.
Dying to self
Or just dying.
Hard to know the boundaries of what to say to a friend.
She see flowers. I see choking weeds.