At ground level

A column about LIFE

Fairy tales and tending my garden

The last few days have seen much coverage of the royal wedding. Many, including myself, stayed up through the wee hours of the morning to watch the special event. There were others, like the woman I saw at the craft store, who, in my opinion, got a bit carried away and bought wedding accessories for a royal wedding get-together with friends in front of her television!

Some people scoff at all the fanfare, but I am one of those who believe the occasion is truly one for celebration. As young girls, we grow up with fairy tales, from Cinderella, Snow White to Sleeping Beauty. Always, in these fairy tales, the girl ends up with her Prince Charming, she becomes a princess, and we assume they live happily ever after. What these fairy tales seem to leave out is it takes a lot of hard work to live happily ever after and, sometimes, it just doesn’t turn out that way.

For me, the royal wedding symbolized a renewed hope that true love still exists, a confirmation of marriage, and best wishes for the happy couple, that they can, indeed, live happily ever after.

As I watched the ceremony unfold, Shakespeare’s words “To thine own self be true,” echoed in my mind. Unlike the marriage of his parents and many people in this world, it was obvious as William and his bride entered into the Sacrament of Marriage, that they were being true to themselves, devoid of pretenses, truthful and transparent with each other.

I, like many people, entered marriage with high hopes and the belief that we, too, would live happily ever after. It didn’t turn out that way. I still have to meet that someone who is devoid of pretenses and can be transparent with me, and who adheres to those same words:

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Marriage is like planting a garden. It needs to be watered, tended and cared for. Relationships can’t continue on an even keel and be expected to succeed. Hopefully, the royal couple will “tend to their garden.”

This brings me, literally, to the subject of my raised garden. How does my garden grow? So far, so good … It took several days, but finally, it is done, thanks to my brother-in-law, who is the one member of our family with a truly green thumb, and my nephews, who gathered here on Easter Sunday and lent him a hand.

When I enlisted his help to assemble the kit I bought and drill screws into the pre-cut cedar, my brother-in-law shook his head and said, “Take it back. This is too much money for what you are getting. I’ll build you a better one.”

So off to the hardware store we went. It was an ambitious project, but we – rather, he – got it done in a few days, with redwood, bolts and screws, a table saw and handy drill – a 4×8 garden box with legs. Then we carried tons of garden and special organic soil, chicken manure and perlite into my yard, donned gloves and proceeded to mix this, his “sure-fire formula.”

As we mixed everything in the box, my brother-in-law turned to me and said, “Can you feel it? Isn’t it so warm? That’s the manure.”

The distinctive pungent aroma reminded me of the farm, but I had to chuckle, for even in the farm, never did I mix manure by hand!

“Ugh, this is disgusting,” I muttered.

“I promise you, you will be able to grow anything in this mixture,” he assured me.

My garden is now lined with tomato and pepper plants, a row of lettuce, a couple of cucumber plants and zucchini. I even threw in some beans for good measure. Let’s see what grows …

Garden fever must be upon us. Yesterday, my daughter and I got more of that soil and planted some orange and red zinnias and pink and purple begonias. They look so pretty by my yellow and pink roses and lavender bougainvilleas, which are now in full bloom, and thankfully, still untouched by those dreadful rodents.

“Just make sure you water the plants every day, or all that hard work will go to waste!” my brother-in-law reminded me when he left.

Yes, I need to tend my garden, just as the royal couple now needs to tend theirs. Time will tell …

As my father would say, “That’s not the end of the story yet!”

I do hope both have a happy ending!

My raised garden

May 1, 2011 - Posted by | Family, Life | , , , , ,

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