By Tony Hooker
There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.
Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.——Kipling
It’s almost February, and in the past, that meant that thoughts would be turning to seeds, and fertilizer and planting. For the last couple of decades, I’ve always planted a garden in the spring, planning fervently on working the dirt and pulling the weeds while tending my bounty before harvesting the rewards of my toil. Unfortunately, the past few years have seen the glory of my garden degrade into a tangled mess of water hemp and foxtails and all sorts of other weeds, due to my neglect. You see, hope for spring comes forth in the cold face of the winter here in Hookerville, and I think that the seedlings that I planted in my window box were a symbol of the warm days ahead. Unfortunately, late spring and summer have too many distractions to keep me on my task, and I’ve failed to hold up my end of the bargain, lately.
One of my major distractions last spring and summer was taking up the delightful, yet frustrating game of golf for the first time in at least 25 years. I thoroughly enjoyed the men’s league and can’t wait for this year’s season. I was the quantifiable worst player in the league a year ago, and it was fun trying to work on my game and make little improvements, to the point where I found myself obsessing about my game. If I wasn’t on the course, I was chipping balls around the yard, ironically often having to go into the neglected weed patch of a garden to retrieve them. I suppose I could try to do both hobbies, but I know myself well enough to reach the conclusion that I would only focus on the one that involves drivers and irons and putters.
However, bees and birds and butterflies tend to enjoy my tangled weed garden, so maybe I can look at doing something a little different. Maybe I can split the difference and grow a low maintenance butterfly garden? I love freshly grown produce, but there are myriad places for me to buy such goodies, and besides, that Titleist isn’t going to find the green on its own. Probably won’t find it after one of my shots either, but that’s a column for another day.