Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Keeping Busy

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today, a little colder than normal, but crisp. Again, rain is expected tomorrow. I am at that in-between time at the end of the month before my work starts to flow in and I have to deal with deadlines. I climbed back into bed to watch Matt Lauer in Vientiane, Laos, after Saul left for work. I felt tired, depressed, and listless, but I could not get back to sleep. I wound up missing most of Vientiane distracted by yet another documentary about the tea in China that Saul had recorded on TIVO from the Sundance Channel. Not as dire as the ones I mentioned earlier last week, but still a little depressing because of the Chinese government's insistence on trying to sell us mass-produced chemically-fertilized factory tea instead of allowing us to directly subsidize farmers producing artisan-type organic teas as they have been produced in China for generations. Because of this, the art is dying out. Saul, Ari and I were in Beijing in January, so we now have even more interest in all things Chinese. We observed that, having just about destroyed all vestiges of the past during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government has discovered that tourists are actually coming because of the remaining vestiges. There has been a rush to preserve and restore, and in some cases totally reconstruct the past as they get ready to host the Olympics. Perhaps, as hoards of tourists descend upon China this summer, they will realize what an international treasure Tibet and the Dalai Lama would be for them if they just let the people observe their own culture and adopted a laissez-faire attitude.

I felt guilty laying in bed on such a beautiful day. Life is short as I have been reminded, and beautiful days are not a dime a dozen. I spent a few minutes staring out the windows at my beautiful pink and purple flowered trees, which also only appear that way for about two weeks each year if the weather holds out. Then I contemplated the garden. Now that I have a reasonable landscaper, I could wait until he is available and just give him instructions. It needs to be made presentable even if I don't plant anything. I thought about not planting anything. Every year, I spend a lot of money growing things and some years, I wind up involuntarily feeding it all to the local wildlife, or at least, the local insects. Why bother? I was in that kind of mood today. Then, I decided that letting that mood and the sober reality of the expense rule my actions would be very counterproductive to my well-being. I dressed for gardening, grabbed my gloves, and went out to pull a few weeds. By the time I had finished pulling those weeds my mood was gone and I grabbed a shovel and started moving the overgrown gravel from my garden walkways into a pile in front of my composter to be used under the new patio. I must be crazy, I thought. I am shoveling heavy shovelfuls of rocks at age 58 when I could pay someone else to do it. After 10 minutes, I was ready to give up. I took a little break and then got a second wind. It was a long second wind. I was able to keep shoveling for another hour and cleared a whole side! Then, I weeded. Then, I used the garden weasel and cleared the whole front section. I was able to keep going for 3 hours. I don't feel too bad this evening after a hot shower and some aspirin. Maybe I will be sorry tomorrow, or maybe I will plant the garden anyway, just as an expression of hope that this year will be better.

1 comment:

sabasenders said...

China may not be listening. But the individual farmers are. Several of the farmers benefited from staying away the insecticide. They got paid well for their efforts.

We'll just take our time and the garden will look fine.