Friday, October 25, 2013

I Might As Well Face It I'm Addicted to Mum(s) - A Word from The Dolly Bob and Dawn

The Dolly Bob (Bob for short) became my gardening go-to guy late in the growing season of 2009, the first year of my foray into raised beds. We found one another in mid-August just after he had moved into a local store. There he sat on a shelf awaiting the holidays. Now he sits in my garden awaiting the next task. He's been spared the holiday tunes that play endlessly and I've a gardening partner.

People often complain about not being able to find "good" help.  Bob's in the garden 24/7. Always wearing the same content expression; he's reliable, steadfast and wise. When bugs ate two of my three broccoli plants, Bob reminded me this opened space for green beans. When the cauliflower succumbed to the same bugs, he reminded me that cauliflower is my least favorite vegetable and that space is good, just space, the empty rich void of garden soil.  Bob feels deeply but is never reactive. His motto? Don't just do something. Be here.

His Buddhist stance, unadvertised on the box in which he and his tractor came, are the reason for the Dolly in his name.  (I may need to make amends to the Dali Llama for that although it's intended with respect.)

Why Bob? Bob's derived from many musical Bob's.  There's Robert Plant initially of Led Zeppelin fame acclaimed for his Grammy with Nashville's Alison Krauss for "Raising Sand." Bob and I still think it should have been "Raising Crops." This Robert also co-wrote "Dirt in a Hole" which we thought might be "our" song, until we discovered it's more about a funeral than a garden. Then there's Blue's musician Robert Cray. I love this Robert's song "Playing in the Dirt."  The Dolly Bob being a man of morals refuses to play the way the song suggests yet we still dig the song.

I should probably be embarrassed by the last Bob who was actually the first musical Robert who came to mind as Bob's namesake. This Robert made famous the 80's "Addicted to Love" - Robert Palmer, that is. Remember "You're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love." I know you may be thinking, 'Dawn, you're gonna have to face it this is a really bad song from a musically lack luster era.'

Think what you must, Bob and I are proudly claiming "Addicted to Love" as our personal anthem, addicted to loving the Earth, that is.

Love, in our case, manifests in nature with plants and animals. I love nature except when an occasional hawk swoops down and grabs one of my birds. With Bob's help, most days I can eventually love the hawk. It's tougher loving people. I've a hard time with some hunters who in my opinion terrorize rather than hunt as evidenced in the prior story as well as those who treat Mother Earth as their dumping ground, cash cow or scapegoat.  I can be in the foulest of moods yet put me in the yard and my spirit rebounds even regarding these folks.

My addiction to loving life, including people, intensifies when I synchronistically come upon real life go-to gardening guys.  (This may call for amends to Bob.)  While taking a different route to the country one weekend, I passed a nursery advertising mums.  Buying mums was not on my list yet I couldn't resist seeing what kind of mum one could buy when the sign read:  Ten for $30.  These mums would surely be Bob-sized. (Gonna have to make amends to Bob for that too.)

I turned around and pulled into Burgess Falls Nursery where moments later Jay, the owner, was loading my trunk with mums about to bloom into the gentlest of colors. These were not the intense purples and yellows for sale everywhere in Fall that eventually die and end up in the trash or compost if they're lucky. These mums were on the verge of blossoming into soothing pastels. To make it even better, they spread if their feet (aka roots) are kept dry with proper drainage.

I left Burgess Falls Nursery with a mum-filled trunk. Most importantly I felt joy.  Spontaneous moments and meetings like those with Jay and Phil heighten my loving life and help me return to the flow when I don't even know I'm out of it.

Damp from the downpour that passed over during the mum spree, I wiped myself off with a towel from the floorboard. As I did, dirt from my shoes somehow peppered my face. Normally I would have complained.  Bob says we're here to learn from the plants. They don't complain when wet and dirty. On the contrary, they thrive. So should I. I laughed for a change and felt what Bob meant.

At times I wonder how long my new found love for gardening will last until I realize that's the whisper of fear in my ear.  Fear says I'm fickle and will grow tired of playing in the dirt. Bob reminds me as long as I'm having fun, sowing and growing will never grow tiring. 

Bob and I rose early the next day, moving in day for the mums.  We welcomed twenty-six new souls to their home in our garden. Yes, I made a second mum-run.  Bob sang, "Dawn, you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to mums."

That was four years ago.  The Dolly Bob and I are happy to report that most of the mums have continued to return each Fall.  My love for gardening only dims when I grow weary of what's done to Mother Earth in the name of  progress, lack of really thinking things through and greed. 

Still my weariness diminishes when I take time to get my hands in the earth or at least my butt in a chair under a tree or literally on the ground.  When I make time to get outside each day, I always know, "I am truly addicted to (thx to the Brits) Mum."

I so love Mother Earth and She so loves us.  lt is simple yet precious time and energy are spent arguing politics, being fed corporate-sponsored media sound-and-sight bites, debating whether global warming is or isn't happening and using research to support sides. 

Meanwhile Mother Earth goes on loving us and Bob and I love Her.  We believe Mother Earth most of all desires our loving gratitude for the home, nourishment and care she provides. She wants to feel our grateful vibes about the goodness and joy of being alive. 

As for amends, Bob says, "The only things that need amending are the soil at times and the soul."  He suspects the Dali Llama agrees.

We love mums and all flowering things and we love Mum.  What about you? 

Bob and I delighted to find the mums survived Fall's first cold blast last night.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 25 October 2013

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