Most gardeners who have 100 tomato plants in their gardens also have some type of drip irrigation system. Some are set on timers and some are activated manually.
You’ll notice that I said “most gardeners”. I am not one of them. I prefer to hand water each of my plants, a process that can take well over an hour each time I water. I don’t have any scientific reason for this. It’s not that I have some secret to greater tomato success through hand watering. The fact is, watering time is my down time, my “me time”, my don’t you dare bother me time. It’s just me alone with my thoughts holding the hose to give each plant it’s deep soaking. Somehow I think they appreciate the individual attention by getting their own dedicated drink of water.
Usually being outside in the garden allows me time to imagine, to create, to dream and on rare occasions to just think about nothing. But today, for some reason, the lyrics to a Tim MacGraw song kept playing through my head. “I don’t know why they say grown men don’t cry”. That one line kept repeating and in fact, is still doing just that. So instead of my usual watering time thoughts of wonder and whimsy my head goes to a much heavier place. I think of the tears being shed for John Wooden – the athletes, friends and family shown on the television or broadcasting on the radio this weekend who mourn his loss. Some never even met the man and yet, they cry. Last week we witnessed the tears of a Major League Umpire shedding tears publicly over the erroneous call he made in that day’s game. And then, there are the quotes and interviews of the many people who are witnessing the devastation of the oil spilling into the ocean and onto our shores. Pelicans and fish drowning in oil and muck. It’s been a tough week. I don’t know why they say grown men don’t cry…
The soil beneath the tomatoes is saturated and as I look up I see two butterflies chasing each other in flight. Lizards scurry through the gardens, squirrels chatter in the trees and there’s an adult hawk flying above, teaching her youngster to fly. For a moment, I am transported back to my sanctuary. How lucky to have such a spot, even if it’s only for a moment.