Here’s what I’ve learned this summer: whether you’re gardening or writing, you’re toning the same muscles. Consider the process:
You finally begin work on the new thing in the garden, or on new a scene, and a domino effect begins—those flowers can’t be planted as you thought because the bed is all grassy and overgrown with some mystery ground cover that won’t easily be removed and needs major digging out.
So you dig it out. Then you realize that it’s not all bad, that some of it can be saved. Some of it will make good compost or you can spread it under the spruce trees. The rest really is utter crap and must be bagged and put on the curb on yard waste day.
Of course you don’t have any bags, and the place under the trees needs raking. And even after you get back from the store and you’re done raking, you notice these big gaps all over the place where you dug stuff out. Some of those gaps are really nice, like a zen thing, others need filling with fresh soil.
It’s only after what feels like several lifetimes that you can do this sweet innocent thing of planting those flowers (or adding that scene).
And then you stand back and say, jeezus they look great. And you look at the flowers three hundred times and each time it feels so good. It was a lot of work, but they look great.
Unfortunately the area right beside them suddenly looks like crap.