I’m in the garage, sitting in a camp chair, two wooden boats and a husband behind me, spring rain falling on the garden in front of me. I’ve worked outside for three sunny days, and now that I’m finished and the rain has come, I can’t stand to go inside.
Rain drips on the weeded mint bed under the stairs. Music plays behind me in the garage, and my husband raps his knuckle on the sailboat in time with the beat. His real work — the work that makes him rich — is with his hands, like mine is with writing and gardening. He’s tinkering with the boat trailer, sanding the sailboat, hammering into the plywood on the wall to hang another tool. I hear the hammer thunk on his wooden work bench when he lays it down; a wrench clangs on the concrete floor.
Droplets cling to the handles of the wheelbarrow, and I am enjoying my rest. I’ve spread mulch on all the beds, I’ve weeded, scattered seeds, watered, planted goldenrod and roses and columbine, transplanted bee balm and bottle brush, pruned forsythia, cleaned leaf litter out of the herbs, filled a vase with mint. My hands feel arthritic, but the garden is beautiful. The redbud blooms magenta, the rosemary has dainty lavender blossoms, our daughter’s columbine is crowned with purple and white flowers, and the roses pop a hot pink. Our neighbor’s dogwood flowers spread open in a spring green, the sky is storm grey, and thunder rumbles over the mountains.
When I was weeding, I got a good look at the ground level of the beds, and among the weeds I found an Echinacea volunteer, and I think the Joe Pye weed might be coming up as well. The wildflower seeds I planted by the mailbox ten days ago are starting to sprout as well. From this point on, I will be able to go out every morning and inspect the garden: what’s sprouting? What’s flowering? How are the seeds we planted? How are the transplants doing?
The sun is out now. It is warm on my bare toes. Rain drops glisten on the bright green grass, and the porch rail is a brilliant white against the stormy sky.
I love this time of year.