October 5, 2012


At the end of each day, my husband and children and I gather on the sofa (we can still all fit, if laps are involved) and, among other things, talk about the best parts of our day.

Dirt was my highlight, today.

I went outside, initially, to pawn Lil' Snip off onto Sugar.  I had stuff inside I wanted to do (as usual).  But, once outside, I was invited to view a catfood-making enterprise, starring soaked corn gleaned from the fields around us.  Then there were the bikers, lost on country roads, who were desperate enough to consult my 10-year-old for directions.  And then .... I saw the weeds.  One thing always leads to another ...

I had seen the weeds before, of course, but somehow they didn't register until I viewed them with my mother-in-law present.  This morning when she came to whisk Spice away for a day out, Nice urged her to accept a chrysanthemum, which somehow led to us all admiring the (weed-choked) plants.  THEN I saw the weeds!

So when I saw them again, later that morning, I thought I might as well do something [small] about it.  It always starts so innocently:  I'll just pull out a few of the larger grasses so we can see the mums better.

And before you know it, twenty minutes have passed, the children are all helping with gusto, and my fingernails are black with dirt.  Glorious, actually.  I felt invigorated.

As a bonus, when I turned around to survey my newly visible lavender, hosta, and chrysanthemum bed, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a scrap of palest violet under the star magnolia by the end of the wall.  Could that be - ?!

It was - the saffron bulbs (corms?) that I had planted while my daughters held a flashlight for me one night last fall, the ones that I had searched for in vain during a mid-summer weed-cleansing, had come up!  They had actually bloomed, these little dainties I had given up for lost!!  I applied my grimy nails to grubbing out the grass and creeping Jenny that had grown up under the magnolia, and soon found all twelve corms (bulbs?), each sprouting a translucent tube of emerging glossy dark-green spike-leaves.  And two blooms, complete with fragrant crimson stigmas (thank you, wikipedia - I was going to call them stamens....) destined for a pot of chicken corn soup this winter.  Ahhh .... that was worth the stained fingernails!

We'll be looking for more blossoms soon.  More stigmas for our soup.

That's some good dirt.

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