You know, you’d think that something called a “tropical storm” would be a little less chilly. It has been a cold day while the land beaten remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto have moved over us. Today’s high is 58F. No slightly chilly breezes today. Autumn has kicked open the door and announced she will be staying the weekend.
My garden is in a state of anticipatory suspension. It is like every flower and vegetable is holding its breath waiting to see if this is The End. The tomatoes are filled with frustratingly almost ripe fruit that refuse, in the lack of heat, to ripen any further. It is enough to make a gardener scream.
There is not much to do today except throw on a sweater, pour a glass of wine, watch the rain come down and contemplate my place in this big garden we call life.
I hate cold. I am not a cold weather person. Yeah, I know, then what the hell am I doing in Cleveland? I’m here because I am in love with a very warm hearted (and warm bodied, I might add) man who loves this city. If the world were a perfect place, Cleveland would be magically whisked away to a Caribbean island and the Browns and Indians would win championships at least once a decade.
But, the world is not magical. I think that is why I love to garden. Because, in a garden, I can pretend there is magic. There are fairies and sprites, gremlins and goblins. Creatures that shy away from me but leave me treasures in the forms of breath taking flowers and ambrosial foods. Other equally retiring creatures destroy all the good work that I do for no other reason than it is good for an hour’s entertainment.
Scientifically, I know why my plants grow (or die), but some primal heart inside me still knows that all that science stuff is a big pile of hooey. It’s fairies, damn it. I tell you all it’s fairies who make my garden grow.
And maybe tonight, since it is so unusually cold and wet, I will leave a little thimble of Jack Daniels out by the back door. Something for them to drink while they watch the cold rain come down. I imagine even Cleveland fairies dream of warmer places too, on chilly days like today.
Photograph by Shane Grundy.