I love to garden. It's very cathartic, all the plucking of weeds and pruning of shrubs and planting and transplanting and the squatting in the dirt to peer closely, gauging the growth since the last squat-and-peer.
But this spring and summer, I faced a new gardening challenge: motherhood. Time is not exactly at a premium when one is a new parent. So, I developed a habit of taking a half an hour to an hour right after Cole went to bed, to garden. His bed time used to be 6:30....then it shifted to 7:30. Then, apparently with my noticing, summer turned to fall. And last night, well, last night was when I noticed.
I went out after Cole went to sleep at 7:30. I had one goal: to chop down my tomato jungle. It was no longer producing lovely, juicy, red fruit. Instead, it was producing partially green, rotting-on-the-vine, smelly lumps, infested with slugs and flies. So the jungle had to go. I took the pruning shears and chopped and chopped and freed bits of twine and scrap wood that had been used to prop up the tomato cages. I threw armfuls of tomato appendages into the paper bag. And the tomatoes that were already rotting on the garden floor, I dug little graves in the soil and laid them to rest. Maybe they'd help fertilize my tomatoes-to-come, I figured.
Then, as I lugged a heavy paper yard-waste bag towards the garage, a rose branch caught my arm. Mark had JUST been saying that the rose bush that climbs our trellis is getting kind of unruly, dangerous almost. And I had my pruning shears in hand and I had a yard waste bag right there, so, I decided to just chop a few branches here and there, to make the passage more passable. It was starting to get dark. I'd noticed it a bit while I was chopping tomato plants, but now it was really and truly twilight. I squinted into the darkness at branches, not sure which end of them was attached to the vine. I reached to delicately disengage a thorny claw from our cable wires near the roof. And I was pruning above my head when a tiny, prickly rose leaf fell down, down, down, into my cleavage.
And THAT is when I realized it was fall.
And it was dark.
And I was pruning a rose bush....in the dark.
And that is silly.
So I went inside.