July 24, 2010

The Garden Round Two, or How I Met The Clump

I will walk...with my hands bound
I will walk...with my face blood
I will walk...with my shadow flag
Into your garden...
Pearl Jam
I was back in the yard today and came out looking and feeling good. With the lessons learned under my belt, I made a quick show of what needed to be done. Armed with a new pair of gloves and a thirty minute negotiated time period from my wife, I cleared the rest of the corner patch with the precision of a surgeon. The weather was perfect and the mosquitoes were nowhere to be seen.

In the photo below, on the left you will see the detritus after the through beating I gave the garden. I know the boxing metaphor is counterproductive to the peace I am hoping to find with this project, but right now it is mean and dirty.

After about a thirty minute pounding, I was left with what I am affectionately calling The Clump. The Clump is a mess of tangled roots buried, as far I can tell, into the core of the earth. No amount of yanking, hacking, chopping, or begging will even loosen The Clump.

The problem is that this mound is in the way of my vision, and worse like an alien pod it is a sign that at anytime the Jurassic thorny plants can come back and devour my garden. The Clump must go. Important lesson learn: Stop and fight another day. I did some damage today and The Clump demands that I regroup and come up with a plan. Right now, I hope to dig the bastard out. This excavation will also give me a chance to survey the soil and see how difficult it will be to over turn the whole area and prepare the bed which will house the vegetables.

Let's get serious for a bit. I have used the metaphor comparing a garden to education in the past, and will most likely make the comparison again before this series is over, but I wanted to point out the obvious connections we can make to our daily lives. How often to we face The Clump in our daily frustrations and shortcomings? How often do we allow external obstacles rooted in our consciousness slow us down.

I hope that I can take this lesson, of first becoming aware of my obstacles, then carefully and thoughtfully extraditing them from the ground, to help me move forward nest time I am frozen with fear when facing a clump that seems too enriched to deal with.

I will remove every trace of these roots. I will take my time. I will do it with awareness, but they will be gone. What more is Zen? What more is peace?

Take another look at my current nemesis. The first villain of our little tale. "I am not afraid of you Clump! You hear that, I am calling you out publicly. By the end of the week you will be on your way to a dump, leaving behind a hole and nothing more. Well, not even that, because I will fill the hole back in. "

Quick! While The Clump isn't looking, let me admit, I am terrified of what I will find under the ground both literally and figuratively of course.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, Chamberlain pointed me here probably because of my sharing that I have recently moved into a rental home where I have been clearing gardens to plant and replant. And in connection to your education/clump metaphor-- he also got to hear a good bit of me whining about a math obstacle I have been overcoming (successfully, but arduously nonetheless).

    With that said, I have started a new blog, <a href="http://themathmystery.blogspot.com>Unlocking Math Mysteries</a>, that I am using as a platform for researching new understandings of math concepts and teaching methods. So if you have any good ideas or directions... let me know!