I earn my yarn money as an Information Technology Consultant and Systems Administrator, and most of my work is done sitting down. I spend a lot of time on the phone talking people through problems, using a super-nifty utility that allows me to observe and control most of our computers. It often feels like I have the world at my fingertips, and for anything I don’t actually have, well, that’s the beauty of Google.
It keeps me fairly stationery, though. During busy times I’ll often set an alarm just to remind myself to get up and walk around. It’s not the kind of thing you’d think you’d need reminding about, but the outside world tends to fade away when I’m configuring multiple machines.
Then of course, there are my favorite hobbies. Knitting, spinning and reading are also pretty stationary. Yes yes, I know there are folks out there who can knit and/or spin while they walk, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ll admit that I was one of those kids walking down the street with my nose in a book, but I mostly gave that up the second or third time I walked into a tree.
They translate into more time on my backside. Exercising my mind for sure, and working on some pretty nifty fine motor skills, but not doing too much else.
This weekend was different. I looked down into my front garden from the porch and saw that it had gotten away from me while I wasn’t paying attention. The morning glory, one of my most-disliked invaders, was bidding fair to strangle the Peace rose. The pansies and dianthus were mere shadows of their springtime glory. The Columbine had long since finished blooming and had turned into great leggy stalks topped with rattling seedpods. No no no, this would never do!
I filled up my water bottle, plunked my hat on my head, turned on my iPod and got to work. Deadheading, trimming down, digging up weeds by the roots, getting growth out of the gravel… anything past its prime or growing where I didn’t want it was treated as a weed. Into the wheelbarrow it went.
Over the course of two days, I filled the wheelbarrow twice with debris. Then I hauled compost out of the container. Oh now, isn’t that just lovely stuff? All the veggie trimmings and coffee grounds from the kitchen, and all the years weeding, transformed over the months into beautiful rich compost, full of worms and bugs and nutrients. My plants perk up at the mere mention of it, and I’ve got some of the liveliest roses you’ve ever seen.
All the bushes got a thick layer of compost, and then a nice deep watering. The garden looks so much better, and I’ve got the most wonderful sense of accomplishment.
My shoulders are a little sore, and I’ve got a bruise on one knee from kneeling on a rock by mistake. The trousers I was wearing can practically stand up by themselves, and I don’t want to talk about how that t-shirt smells. I was hungrier for my dinner than I’d been in months. I’m tired, but it’s the good tired. The one that comes from a hard job well done, from plants well tended and tools put away freshly cleaned.