A fire in the garden
Sunday is my day in the garden. It’s the one day that nothing interferes with my schedule. I garden every Sunday; but I’m not just a Sunday gardener. In my mind, I’m always in the garden; and certainly I garden year ‘round. This has been one of the few winters I’ve actually enjoyed. Even the short days of January and February didn’t bother me. I think I’m maturing.
In my youth, before we had the plant selection and available we have today, it never occurred to me that winter gardening might be interesting or fun, so I skied. I skied to get me through the winter. Now I garden. I garden to get me through the winter. Gardening is cheaper. Maybe.
While there is lots to see in my winter garden, there isn’t a whole lot to do. Soon, gardening will kick into high gear with pruning, planting, and generally preparing for the new seasons ahead. And I can always find something that needs to be done in the garden, but there are many times when I want to be in the garden, but my garden wants me to rest. So I light a fire.
Having a fire in the garden has been a favorite pastime and is fascination of mine. Having a fire while gardening is like sharing my day with a companion; in a quiet silence, we share a moment. Maybe even more like a lover, I stare in wonder, and want to remain in the moment; a fire gives me an excuse to stay outside longer no matter what the temperature.
Before I begin my Sunday chores, I gather kindling; there are always plenty of sticks that have been shaken from the trees as wind rushes through. With the help of a couple pieces of balled-up newspaper, I strike a match, and start a fire. Firewood is purchased from the Farmer’s Market, and fire-starters from help me make fire faster.
This is the time I watch and probably even do a little meditation. I marvel at the fire as it licks the air. I wait for the first scent of piñon wood, something I always add along with an oak log to give it that certain scent. I can smell it now. Just having that unique firewood smell would be enough reason to have a fire. Of course, that is only one of the reasons. The warmth, the view of the garden through the smoke–a change of perspective without having to leave my favorite seat from within the Love Shack, and a warm home base are the other reasons I partake.
I use the fire-pit like a hub. My steps have me radiating out from the hub to work on something in the garden, only to return to the pit to turn a log, drop some sticks, or warm my hands. Then I’m off again, to another destination in the garden, knowing I’ll return to the places that gives me winter comfort.
P.S. Sometimes I like to have a fire at night…