Where’s Walden?

Today has been a Thoreau kind of a day.  It’s not so much that I’m in touch with my inner Transcendentalist…although, as I think about this a bit more….maybe I have been absolutely channeling my inner Transcendentalist.

Sorry [not sorry] for the repetition.

Today, I finally dug my fingers into the dirt and started the process of looking to spring and summer.  Now, my gardens are all completely submerged in slush, ice, and snow.  The backyard looks like a drowned swamp.  However, I spent some time at the most amazing nursery and picked up the beginnings of what I hope will be this summer’s garden.

Yup.  Wal Mart.

Seriously, I picked up those little peat pots that are supposed to be great for seed starters.  And I picked up all kinds of seeds because I love planting and I love gardens and I love growing things…even though I have great success with weeds and no real luck for growing things from seeds.


See! Even the Boy loves to play in the garden! This is after he lost a mud war that he started!

But I couldn’t help myself.  I had to get my fingers dirty, even if it was just the tips and the dirt was really nothing major.  At least I didn’t have any spiders in those little dirt pots.  I hate spiders.

I have a love-hate relationship with spiders.  I love to hate them but I also respect their relationship to the world and the habitats I keep in my gardens so I leave the spiders alone as much as possible.  Until I roll over a stone.  And find a big-*** black widow. And, in my defense, they have really big butts.  Or bellies full of poison.  I don’t care.  When I find those shiny, “little” bodies, I start hyperventilating and feel like I’m about to pass out.  And I’m not exaggerating.  Therefore, out of honor for the fact that I absolutely am petrified and loathe those ugly beasties, I carry with me my favorite garden tool of all time.

My hammer.

Yup.  Use the claw to roll over the stone.  Find that nasty creature and POW POW POW!  That black widow is not a flat widow.  No more hyperventilating.  No more toxicity in my little garden.

And I can breathe again.  And the other spiders just go about their merry little ways, staying clear of this mad-woman with a hammer.  I leave the other ones alone.  I would leave the black widows alone, but they think it’s a good thing to scurry across my garden and say hi to me.  Funny.  I don’t speak spider.  I speak hammer.


I’m currently reading War and Peace and have gotten to the point in which Pierre is going through his religious/spiritual transformation.  Ironically (maybe not ironic at all given both books are by the same author), Pierre’s experiences remind me of Lenin’s transformation moments in Anna Karenina.  The way both men respond to nature, to a sense of spirituality remind me of Walt Whitman’s poetry, specifically “I Hear America Singing.”  Tolstoy’s exuberance for social equality (as much as I have seen in two novels), his passion for nature, his love of…God (I’m not fully certain) are amazing.  I fear that I have completely mis-read something.  I’m reading War and Peace while working out at the gym and maybe the sweat pouring down my face has blurred my eyes and made me stupid.

I don’t care.  I tell my students, all the time, that they’re opinions are right so long as they use the literature to support themselves.

As I was driving to and from the gym, I saw the blue sky through the clouds breaking up and I felt like I was greeting a long lost friend.  I know that I wrote earlier about loving snow.  And I do love snow as much as I love winter.

However, I love all the seasons, relish the beauty that each season offers and gives to me.  I love the feeling of the sun on my skin.  I love the feeling of the wind peeling through my hair and against my body.  One of my absolute favorite sounds is the crunching of autumn leaves when I walk through huge piles of them.

Each season, each moment of life is filled with the rich complexity of everyday, simple joys.  Yes, I speak in dualities and opposing binaries.  However, this is the joy of life, of experiencing and relishing in the pleasures that exist at every moment and with fiber of my being.

So as the call of spring thrums through my veins and awakens my soul, I look forward to going to my mountain in West Virginia, climbing to the top, and sounding “my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.”


This really is the top of my mountain. Frost would be proud. I personally own the “Road Not Taken.”

Robin Williams would be proud.

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