yard work

This weekend I realized two things:

1) I am getting older, inasmuch as I actually enjoyed my first bout of yard work since I was practically a kid, and

2) I am getting older, inasmuch as things like yard work make me feel like I’m 55.

The main point is that I’m getting older. This sounds overly dramatic given that I’m still on the  honeymoon of my 29th birthday. The last few months have been sort of surreal in this regard – stepping into new phases of life, the phases that always lived in the category of “very-far-off future.” When they arrive, and you find yourself in them, it’s odd. That is what homeownership feels like. What used to feel like absolutely drudgery – picking up wheelbarrows full of sticks or yanking out weeds – becomes just a matter of life. This is my yard, and I’ll be damned if I have it looking a mess. More than that, scraping up needles and dead leaves on the patio actually was enjoyable. People say rote activities like gardening or cooking are meditative experiences. For me, clearing the outdoor space for furniture and future BBQs and feeling competent wasn’t meditative so much as an exercise in self-efficacy. I can handle this.

For the past month I’ve lived in near-constant fear that my parents’ ultra-green thumbs have skipped a generation. I love outdoor spaces. But I don’t know the first thing about how to keep green things alive. My mom  strolls through the yard, pointing out every plant, weed, and stem poking from the earth. I tried to make mental notes in my head. I can identify dandelion weeds; strawberries and raspberries, and mint so far. So, basically enough to make a smoothie. But I keep wanting to call the clematis “chlamydia” and every time something new sprouts up I’m tempted to take a picture and text message to get her opinion.

Somewhere in the midst of seeding the grass, spraying weed killer (which I sort of regret – isn’t that stuff bad??) and envisioning new and additional landscaping, I felt comforted that I think I have the knack for this. It just has to be developed.

To my second point, I don’t feel 29. My body has hurt for about the last four weeks and I’ve all but stopped practicing yoga for how much pain my back is in. I’ve seen a masseuse, a very good one, but the realization that I may need a chiropractor is one I haven’t quite accepted. I probably do. And I should probably also not be raking leaves or bending over apologizing to dandelions that I’m spraying on the lawn. If you can spare some healing thoughts or energy, please send some my way. To the middle of my back and left ribs, please.