My knees have seen a lot of use lately. Gardening requires this humble position if one wishes to do a good job of weeding or planting. Unlike former times, however, they require a cushion.
Learning about soil conditioning
Happily, cushioned or not, my knees seem to be getting stronger. At least what I suspect is arthritis has diminished as I discover a few surprises. A friend gave me a tip about leaving the soil covered for winter. I thought the leaves would blow away so I threw some cardboard over them. My discovery: crushed leaves don’t blow away. They also condition the soil so the beds are even better this year than last. Looking forward to some fresh vegetables.
The view from my knees
While my garden is not huge, it is productive. In the picture, just behind me on my knees, is a newly planted asparagus bed. In the background we can see a newly finished composter. The lawn is made up of mostly dandelions and clover. New topsoil will level it out, perhaps next year, when we reseed it in clover. For the bees. The dandelions will seed naturally.
On my knees ecologically
As you may notice, we are into ecology. Composting reduces the amount of garbage which ends up being mostly wrappings. One small bag every two weeks. One large bag of recyclables every three or four weeks and a large bag of non-recyclables every two months or so. Now that the composter is in place we will see what the winter brings and how much soil it produces. Another learning curve. This curve has brought me to my knees as I listen to my friend talk about the biological make up of soil and how the caragana growing in our neighbour’s yard is the reason our spruce are so healthy. No, I will not be devoting much time to study. I will be asking questions though.
I protest with my paintings
On a different note, Instagram is buzzing about a recent painting I completed. It is pretty. Underneath, a sadness sends me to my knees in another way. Copper strips represents the booms used for fishing nets. The avocado sacks occupy the between spaces . I painted the water aqua. “Traces” questions our right to drain the oceans of fish or pollute the waterways with plastic. I see no political will to change.
Releasing sadness on my knees
On my knees, I place my sadness in the hands of one greater than me. My hope rests in the creator of our beautiful common home. She can change the hearts of those who can correct our course, install a circular economy and balance the bounty for everyone. In the meantime, I recycle, compost and eloquently protest with the beauty of my work and its message.