Through the hedge is another country, the great “out there”, as it were.
Often you’ll find me basking in the shadows made by the Black Walnut Trees that surround this little place I call home, dripping their toxicity, allowing only woodlanders to thrive, and dismissing the dalliances of species that do not belong – VIP only.
Black walnut is allopathic, as it excretes chemicals into its environment that harm competition. While many species of plants are allopathic, walnuts are particularly famous for it, records of walnut toxicity to other plants have been observed as far back as the first century when Pliny the Elder wrote: “The shadow of walnut trees is poison to all plants within its compass.” Walnuts have since been observed as being toxic to many plants including herbaceous and woody plants.. [wikipedia]
Ah, but for some, it is just right.
Slowly, day by day, that world out there fades from view, into the greening, and sparrows flit about, a Cardinal pair, a Yellow Finch or three, hopping in and out to have a wee drink from the little posh watering ‘hole’ I created. Made from some Tiffany-like glass lampshade found at a garage sale years ago, I dug a hole and plopped it in among the Lily of the Valley and Creeping Golden Jenny.
“Magic’s never what you expect it to be, but it’s often what you need.”
Charles de Lint, Moonlight and Vines
It for me is those touches that make a garden special. Those found treasures, not store-bought, for magic, cannot be bought in a store. Whether they are given to you, or you find them, becoming a part of the broader spell, the enchantment.
A nook to read a book in. Resting back on the brick, lost in some fictional world or other, sometimes. Others I find myself just sitting there, staring out, soaking it in.
Through my little hedgerow that divides me from the world, I spied someone yesterday I had not seen in ages. Sitting their kvetching over beers with a girlfriend, and I spied that Blue-eyed guy, across the way, turning once in a while this way, but I couldn’t figure out what he was up to.
I hold myself to a higher standard than him, now, so I smiled and watched him back, knowing he would not dare venture through.
A high romance he was not, I am afraid. Not up to snuff, not even close, alas. I found myself looking down on him, in the end, for his, em, addictive proclivities.
a tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition toward a particular thing.
Using it in a sentence, Wikipedia suggests: “a proclivity for hard work”. And yes, he was hard-working, yet, eventually that Peruvian Marching Powder would make its appearance, and more beer, and table ping-pong, and party boy blue became a drag.
I want magic and a magic that is beyond this world as it is, as we’ve all agreed upon. Beyond the veil of it all, beyond lies, behind the mask. True Love, only.
My last words to him were of how disappointed I was in him, at what he was showing of himself to those millennial minds he attracts. The cast-offs, the throwaways, afraid to grow up, like Peter Pan. Thinking maybe he was more was weak, I know, I knew better.
His way was not the way.
Yet those tossed up butterflies inside needed I guess to see it for themselves. Plain as day, as plain as every 60-year-old wrinkle on his face.
Compost, really. Today I am, I admit, perhaps still basking in the afterglow of those nuptials yesterday. Not to say I have any aspirations at a repeat performance of the institution myself, but rather the strong essence of the very foundations of love that was invoked.
And I feel that essence of love when I’m in my garden. Making you a better version of yourself sort of stuff, for to feel love, to be loved, cherished, brings us closer to the divine, to the core of us, to the in-between, our Achilles heel even, the glue that binds us, sometimes like mended wounds and we are healed.
“Every time we fix something that broken, whether it’s a car engine or a broken heart, that an act of magic. And what makes it magic is that we choose to create or help, just as we can choose to harm.”
Charles de Lint
In my garden, I feel that pull, that acceptance, that forgiveness, that companionship.
You pull the strings of that love and a vibration resonates, and maybe that’s what I’m feeling still today.
So, maybe that’s it, a garden should as well be a fine romance, a bit of whimsy, of the soul, of heartstrings and songs, and going on maybe a bit too long, if you’re lucky, and maybe that is what love is, truly, a divine magic.
“All my life I’ve wanted to be the kid who gets to cross over into the magical kingdom. I devoured those books by C.S. Lewis and William Dunthorn, Ellen Wentworth, Susan Cooper, and Alan Garner. When I could get them from the library, I read them out of order as I found them, and then in order, and then reread them all again, many times over. Because even when I was a child I knew it wasn’t simply escape that lay on the far side of the borders of fairyland. Instinctively I knew crossing over would mean more than fleeing the constant terror and shame that was mine at that time of my life. There was a knowledge – an understanding hidden in the marrow of my bones that only I can access ― telling me that by crossing over, I’d be coming home.
That’s the reason I’ve yearned so desperately to experience the wonder, the mystery, the beauty of that world beyond the World As It Is. It’s because I know that somewhere across the border there’s a place for me. A place of safety and strength and learning, where I can become who I’m supposed to be. I’ve tried forever to be that person here, but whatever I manage to accomplish in the World As It Is only seems to be an echo of what I could be in that other place that lies hidden somewhere beyond the borders.”
Charles de Lint
A Stoic would say it is far superior to see the world as it is and ignore the magic. Bunk, they would say.
I admire the Stoics, and their philosophies have a place. Yet, not I think in a garden, and not in love, certainly not in love. Wonder may come alive thru the eyes of love, gives strength, hopes, and dreams bigger. It heals. It is at peace with itself, within its embrace, and such a garden can be, if you believe.