Sunday, 17 July 2016

Gone fallow

As part of our big backyard reno last year, we put in a small garden plot. It was an extra negotiated with our contractor. The crew used materials already on hand: they marked out the space with extra lengths of fence post already stained to match, and filled it with leftover dirt from regrading the lawn. A very exciting addition to our backyard kingdom, but finished far too late for any immediate planting. It lay barren while we finished staining fence boards, placed paving stones, and put in the sod. I brushed leaves away late in October to set in tulip bulbs; I found it tough digging but blamed the frost. It wasn't 'til I tried weeding it the following May that I realized our dirt mix was more clay than topsoil.



My tulips pushed through late but bloomed bright. And stood sentinel before a rowdy bunch of dandelions, clover, milkweed, and hundreds of Manitoba maple. I worked valiantly to pry them all from the stubborn soil as time allowed in May, but planting time kept getting pushed further and further away.

Then the rains came. If you live in Western Canada, I needn't to say more. All the moisture that didn't come through the mild, dry winter fell in torrents. Way too much, way too quick, and much too late.

Somewhere in June, we accepted that there would be no garden beyond the tulips this year. The soil was too tough, the weeds too hardy, and digging days too few.  There's a stack of garden soil bags and mound of compost waiting to be worked in the clay once the weeds are finally cleared. In the meantime, the plot has gone fallow.


This was as good as it got

Sometime this spring, my little blog ran into similar problems. I've got a draft list sprinkled with stunted posts, and a hard drive as dense as my garden clay. My laptop is as old as my son; at six and half, he's all elbows and knees, wild imagination and explosive emotions with plenty of growing left to do. My computer's already an old man, straining to see the pictures and struggling to bring in the mail.

I find myself doing more and more computing tasks on my phone just to avoid the sluggish start-up. I flood my brain with click bait while I wait for programs to load; my own ideas choked out in the mud. Or I'm called away by meal prep, bedtime, leaky eavestroughs and potty mishaps. It's the season for the quick post when technical difficulties only allow for the slow. Posts push up rarely, lie dormant, miss the link-up deadline or relevant season and die. The blog has also gone fallow.

I'm weeding out years of emails and getting choosy about what all gets synced. I'm walking more - mainly to limber up stiff muscles, but feeling the wake-up in my brain. And I'm pressing publish now, before I talk myself into waiting to take a picture of my now entirely withered tulips, lest I wake to find my thoughts far beyond my latest post again.