Garden days have arrived. I simply can’t help myself. As the moon creeps ever closer, as dark becomes more luminous, as morning comes sooner and daylight hours more numerous, I find myself wanting to tend the earth, to help my garden grow and bloom. I crave beauty.
This morning, I woke after strange dreams, thinking I needed to plant a lemon tree – and did,
almost before the day really began. I showered, had a cup of tea, but then left the house before eating. It was too early for the nursery to be open for business so Earnest and I went down to the shore and walked along the beach, amazed by that the waters had pulled even further from shore than I thought possible. Soon it was evident that the tide was as far out as it would go. Standing there, I could see that the waters were returning. I could hear the tide coming in.
The water was moving at such a speed across the sands that it made a brittle yet lacy sound, almost as if hundreds of fairy folk were running their fingers carefully and delicately over the rims of hundreds of tiny crystal glasses, some half-full of water, some with less water than that, some with more. As long as their fingers moved swiftly and lightly along the rim of the glass, a weeping music ran out to the stars. That swiftly disappearing music wrapped me. It anchored my feet to the rocky shore, and then the sun settling onto the ripples of the incoming tide lifted me until I felt as of I were thin-stretched and buoyant, a soap bubble on the wind, a marsh-reed on a star-sea. A very real feeling, maybe even an important feeling, but impossible to describe credibly or usefully.
I soon turned from that swiftly moving tide and drove to Encinal Nursery where I knew they had in stock a number of healthy Meyer lemon trees. Out of the sky, away from the shimmer, and back to the earth. As I drove past lines of cars, through clogs of traffic, I thought again of tides and the hearing of tides, tides that come in swiftly without warning, tides that we cannot describe.
I left the house this morning to escape one of those tides. Spit from dreams, then turning on the radio, I heard nothing except solemn voices remarking war, discussing death, a fierce tide that roared and wallowed like rust, diesel against dusk . . . a relentless uncomfortable tide. I turned the radio off.
The tide of war grinding ceaselessly against the edges of my life is not a sound I enjoy, and so I go to the sea. I stop, I listen, and then, I sink my arms into the earth, dig a hole for a lemon tree.
May it grow and prosper.
Tides turn and so can we.