Monthly Archives: March 2015

Odd Happiness

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I woke up this morning feeling happy. I’m not quite sure why–I had a vague impression that there was a smell in the air that I liked, or a quality of light or something. It had something to do with the garden, which suddenly looked a lot better than it has all winter (and not just because I spent three hours out there yesterday thrashing down dead stems and pulling up pepperweed.)

I went downstairs and there was coffee and even cream, and that was clearly a sign that the universe is good, or at least knows what’s good for it.

It must be said, I’m not always a happy person. I am a cheerful and busy person, and that looks like happiness from a distance. I like my life and my people and I do a thing that I generally enjoy and this all contributes to making life pretty good. But of course I am gnawed by anxiety like anyone else and I have deadlines that loom over me like the wave in that Hokusai painting…and this winter has been LONG.

So I am not entirely sure why I am in such a good mood. The likely cause is hours spent in the sun over the weekend–Tuscon is a blaze of desert sunlight–which undoubtedly kicked my vitamin D level up a notch, and yesterday’s gardening probably also helped in that regard.

Plus I finally started getting my hands back in the dirt, now that things have warmed up. And I could go on about the spiritual benefits and connection to the earth–which I do believe in, though I won’t tax you with it–but the more concrete element is Mycobacterium vaccae, which is a soil bacteria that increases your seratonin levels. It lasts in the system for about three weeks. In a short winter, I’m never not digging for that long, but this one has gone on (and on and on) and I have been busy and I suspect it kept getting punted. (Yes, gardening literally makes you happy, or at least less depressed. Humans and dirt have a long history. Incidentally, it’s apparently related to leprosy!) You can get it from vegetables that haven’t been brutalized, but it’s much easier to just dig around and inhale the stuff.

I was planting peas last week and getting my hands in the damp dirt and poking around. Maybe that’s the reason I’m feeling great today. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Spriiiiiing!

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It’s spring! It’s spring! Did I mention it was spring!?

I got back from Arizona and suddenly spring is everywhere. There are buds on the elderberry and the hydrangea and the dogwood. The trillium are sudden coming up! (They hadn’t even poked above ground before I left.) The eastern waterleaf is out and the Christmas fern and various mountain mints are appearing in places where I will probably someday regret planting them. Did I mention the trillium!?

My trout lilies bloomed and my toothwort and Jacob’s ladder are going nuts and the raspberry is budding and a deer ate the top off my red buckeye but it’s still got another set of buds and the roses are putting out dark red leaves and the cherry blossomed and I SAW A BEE!

My heart may not be able to take much more of this. Sometimes I wonder if gardening is just a random hobby I will someday tire of, and then I wander around making “Urrrk!” noises like I’ve been kicked whenever I see a new plant come up, and I think it’s probably not gonna happen.

And the mourning cloak is out! Doing his little patrols! And I saw an Eastern Comma butterfly! And pulled a tick off myself!

Okay, that last wasn’t quite so exciting. But still.