Friday, May 21, 2010

The callings of Spring

Spring has finally, in big brilliant blast of sunshine, blessed us, and the earth is burst forth.

Or somesuch. In our neighborhood, that basically means that families like ours spend a lot time working around the yard in the sunshine. The wives among us tend to be digging with little bitty shovels and patting the earth with gloved hands. And doing a lot of pointing with those gloved hands, directing us husbands -- who brandish real shovels -- and the teen-aged draftees into this yardscaping enterprise, on what to move where and where to dig with those real shovels.

Oftentimes, while my wife is not looking, hunched over, working the ground and murmoring encouragement to some bedrazzled scrub, I find myself leaning against my shovel and staring ... out there, at the greater -- in both size and grandeur -- landscape around us. Up and away toward Perins Peak, or the La Platas, or some distant butte in Utah that I can see in my traveler's mind's eye beyond the curvature of the earth.

I often see my son when it's his shift in the Boda Garden, as we call my wife's yardly handwork, also staring off, perhaps kicking some skateboard trick in his mind.

Seems the gene doesn't fall very far from the double-helix.

Because this, I have found from a very unscientific, but usually very festive, survey, seems to be the norm among my married middle-aged male counterparts: Women work the yard, and men help. But they're really faking their enjoyment. (One good turn deserves another, eh?) What were really thinking about is ... going, out there, somewhere.

And we're thinking: God already made a garden, darlin'! Let us let Him tend to it with His all-powerful ways! And let us go forth and folic in his Creation! 

But my wife ain't buying it.

Anyway, while I may not always be the most exuberant of employees, I much do appreciate the fruits of this forced labor. And I enjoy seeing my wife's creativity and sense of beauty made manifest.

And given those gender differences in how we might prefer to spend sunny spring afternoons, I particularly appreciate my wife's long-running rock-garden project, because I think it represents the beset of us merged:

Sarah has lined the gardens around our yard with rocks gathered and carried from literally all over the world -- from the San Juan River to Alaska, from Mount Sneffels to Kauai, from the Upper Penninsula of Michigan to Norway to the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon Coast.

I know, because I, Webb and Anna carried them from where ever Sarah found them.

And I love it. This is, when I look at it now, a true coming together of  both our traveling and our homemaking. And that truly is making our home more beautiful.
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