Diggin’ the garden…

"Hosta la vista, Baby..."


“We are stardust, we are golden
We are billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden”

-Crosby, Stills and Nash

We got back to the house from a family Easter dinner at around 5:00 yesterday with seven newly acquired hostas in the trunk of the car.  By 6:30 I’d gathered the necessary equipment from the garage and was out in the front yard putting spade to earth. 

The sun was shining, but the cool breeze and a heavy bank of clouds hanging low in the west spoke of rain.  My goal was to get the hostas into the ground before it started.

I set the plants on the lawn in their perspective spots and began digging the holes.  The soil in the front yard is mostly sand, so the spade sank in with little effort.  I sprinkled organic fertilizer into the bottom of the holes and settled each plant into its place, packing the roots gently but firmly with handfuls of gritty earth.

I had just finished working with the sixth hosta when the first few drops of rain hit the back of my hand.

“Just ten more minutes, Father Sky,” I said.  “Just enough time to get the last one into the ground.  Mother Earth is willing to cooperate – how about you?”

As the rain increased, I got up and took my iPod into the garage.  I returned to the yard and knelt to dig the final hole. 

Turning again to Father Sky, I decided upon a different tactic.  “Thank you for the gift of this beautiful rain, Father Sky,” I said.  “Thank you for the water that fertilizes the Earth and nourishes all those who are thirsty.”

Immediately the rain stopped.  I set to work planting the last hosta.  Afterwards I carried the sod back to the compost bin and sprinkled mulch around the plants.  I took some time to inspect my work, and as I bent to pick up the shovel, I thought I might have time to plant some tulips we’d been gifted before it got too dark.

No sooner did I think this than a light rain began to fall.  I laughed.  “Message received,” I said watching the clouds roll in.  Father Sky had kept his end of the bargain.  With gratitude for His favor, I took the tools back into the garage just as the rain started to come down heavier.  My fiancé and I set up a couple of lawn chairs in the garage and sat for a while watching it splatter and bounce along the pavement. 

We talked for a bit until the rain let up.  To the west amid the dark grey, we noticed two particular white clouds: one shaped like a single stalk with a few spare leaves breaking through the soil.  Next to it was another, smaller cloud shaped exactly like Kokopelli, the trickster – musician and deity of fertility and agriculture.  As we watched, Kokopelli transformed into the visage of Eagle.

In his wisdom, Father Sky had given me one final message for the evening:

 “Let the joy of your vision continue to grow.” 

I picked up the shovel and the pot of tulips and headed back out into the yard…


4 Responses to “Diggin’ the garden…”

  1. A lovely story, indeed! This morning, as my students’ papers pile up on my desk, and the fog swirls in a monochrome spring world, I am enjoying imagining your dance with Father Sky and the Rainy Ones. A few leaves have appeared on the lilacs, just a hint of green. Water droplets hang everywhere. There are tulip leaves in the garden, and a few buds hold the promise of color to come. We must be a bit behind you in Spring’s northward journey.

    May your tulips delight you! And the spirits bless you and yours!


  2. Thank you for that. And you and yours as well. Sounds like you’re moving into a beautiful growing season. This is such a wonderful time of year. Everything feels so clean and new – so ALIVE!


  3. Okay, what I want to know is…do you have slugs. Because Tony loves hostas, but slugs love them more. He bought one and lovingly tended it last year but thought perhaps the severe winter had taken it. But it’s out. But his trick – learned from some Organic Centre buddies – is to plant comfrey beside it. Because if there is anything a slug loves more than a hosta it’s comfrey!


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