Kitchen Garden

Pivot to Gardening

Pruned apple tree

The first spadeful of garden soil revealed an absence of frost the length of the 10-inch divot — and plenty of earthworms.

It’s time to plant peas, lettuce, turnips — the early, albeit late vegetables.

It’s also pretty exciting. Like most people in my life I’m tired of indoors and ready to do more outside in moderate temperatures.

I rose at 4 a.m. and fell into a pattern of making coffee, heading to my work space and writing.

I read newspapers and checked social media. I wrote correspondence, emails and texts. I have three different blog posts started. Sometimes I finish a post before leaving the house. Sometimes a topic requires development so I’ll sketch an outline and work on it a few days. In any case, writing is a primary creative outlet and I value the work the first few hours of each day.

It’s only a fraction of the time and that’s where cooking, gardening and outside work comes in.

I made a two egg cheese omelet for breakfast. I’ve been viewing Julia Child’s French Chef videos about omelet-making and it made a difference in technique. Using high heat, slight agitation of the egg mixture as it’s cooking, and when to add ingredients to create the finished product. I hadn’t really considered those aspects of it before. It was a fine start to the day.

Outside I started making a burn pile, finished pruning the apple trees, and parked my car outside to leave garage space for spring. I cut back the sprouted trees in the flower bed to allow early bulbs to be seen. Spring is running late, but it’s coming fast. There will be plenty to fill my days going forward.

At the home, farm and auto supply store spring shipments arrive daily. On Thursday I unloaded truckloads of bagged dirt, large bundles of wooden fence posts, and an extra load of general freight from the centralized distribution center. It felt good to be outside in 50-degree temperatures.

I found a three-ring binder with brief writing about books I owned or read in the mid-1970s. From an entry on Dec. 2, 1975:

With reluctance I must admit my pursuit of literature outside my job has been minimal. I really haven’t been spending time at home reading. So, for the present, I am going to try a month, half a month anyway, with no poets. The daily reading is what is suffering most.

What I didn’t realize then was there would be a pivot point in life where I stopped pursuit of literature and started living it, where I read less poetry and started writing. This spring day is a reminder of that, made clear by the absence of frost in soil teeming with life and begging for something to grow.

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