Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Rough Week for Our Country

Most anything appearing to be growing in the garden is doing so without green chlorophyll; no green on tulips, geraniums, nor these hens and chicks
I couldn't help but be struck again by how eloquent President Obama is, especially this evening in his role of Consoler-in-Chief when he said it's been a tough week for our country.  The Boston Marathon, ricin (really? again!), and the Texas fertilizer plant, various economics reports and the stock market's lockjaw reaction; these of course make us, as a country, turn inward and ignore strange, young people running countries with possibly nuclear-armed ballistic missiles...

And although, he didn't come out and say the words, "I feel your pain,"  in that southern-accented drawl of another famously eloquent Democratic president, As always, I felt Barack Obama actually gets it.

I first heard then citizen-only Barack Obama speak as I was getting some composted mulch for my garden.  He was nearly literally standing on a mulch pile (versus a soapbox) speaking to any and all who would listen. 

(It seems like) a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I had another garden.  It was a bit smaller garden and a haven after and from long days in the restaurant, and later at Motorola.  It was Elgin's Lord's Park, with its free composted mulch program available on a first come, first served basis.  I would line my trunk with plastic sheeting or a tarp and make the less than a mile round trip, filling my trunk each spring day until there was no more mulch to be had, the ant-like residents each carrying away as much as we could.  

The mulch pile at Lord's Park was located next to the Lord's Park Pavilion.  The Lord's Park Pavilion, I believe started out as more of a folly and then bandstand in the 1890s.   By the time I had come to live in Elgin, it had been totally rejuvenated and featured some enclosed rooms.  The Elgin Parks District had a thriving recreational program at the time and the space was also available for meetings, classes, and family get-togethers.  My son took tumbling/dance class there at age three.  (Not a dancer, although his basketball career challenges my thoughts that he is not a "tumbler".)

On this particular day, I was having a difficult time backing up my car to the mulch pile, there being so many vehicles parked around the pavilion.  So being curious, I went to take a look see, and ended up standing in the back of the room listening to a young unknown wannabe politician speak.  Standing, because I expected to beat a hasty retreat.  Later standing, because I totally forgot I was.  For 45 minutes...

I went home mulch-less, and repeated the gist of the young politician's speech to the to-be father of Handsome Son. Later that spring, we both voted for the young Mr. Obama and were more than surprised when the young unknown politician actually won. 

I can only imagine how many little seeds like this Barack Obama had to plant before enough of them sprouted.  But like the plant every gardener sees and instantly wants; intellectually, he had that effect on me.

Presently, I, for one, though, trapped in the seemingly never-never land of central Wisconsin, where Spring is just not coming this year; have been spending a lot of time pondering our extreme weather and world events.  The seeds of so many things waiting for us in our futures are laid out clearly for us, even now.  We somehow just need to see them.

Right now, it is not clear to me how, and more importantly why, two young men from Chechnya taken in by this country would want to inject horror into the lives of so many celebrating a beautiful spring day in Boston.  Just like I was struck on 9/11 by how nice and blue the skies were across the country and especially in New York, when young men would unthinkably and intentionally fly commercial aircraft into skyscrapers. 

How out of touch can you be?  What is inside of these mad, young, men? Am I the one that just doesn't see?

My downed branches of white pine loomed large covering nearly my entire front yard, but made for a puny pile after my 80-year-old father cut them into short pieces tossed them into the trunk of his car and left before I even got out of the shower.  My father and a chain saw, still a powerful force...

A year ago to the day, Red Jade crab apple was in full bloom.  It makes me a bit happier to think it will surely bloom again sometime this year.


  1. For the record, I don't get it, either.

  2. Sometimes I think I live in a bubble. Here I thought it was just me, thanks Bitten!