Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Make Our Garden Grow

You've been a fool and so have I
But come I'll be your wife
And let us try before we die
To make some sense of life
We're neither pure nor wise nor good
We'll do the best we know
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow
And make our garden grow

I thought the world was sugar cake
For so our master said
But now I'll teach my hands to bake
Our loaf of daily bread
We're neither pure nor wise nor good
We'll do the best we know
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow
And make our garden grow

Let dreamers dream what worlds they please
Those Edens can't be found
The sweetest flowers
The fairest trees 
Are grown in solid ground
We're neither pure nor wise nor good
We'll do the best we know
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow
And make our garden grow
-from Candide

We planted our small garden last weekend. It seems late but it was our best timing given the extremely wet month of May. I read that because of the kind of spring we've had it actually isn't too late to put in a garden in this valley.

We bought a lot behind and to the side of our house in 2001 from the woman who intended to quarter her property and sell off the three empty lots for development (one quarter contains the house next door where she'd lived for decades). We're not talking large lots here, and if we hadn't saved the one next to us three giant Sequoias would have been sacrificed for a small house and garage. That is indeed what happened to the two other empty lots, and one contained a fourth Sequoia that, when felled, shook the entire block. A neighbor teenage girl methodically counted the 77 rings on that tree, and since the
survivors were the same size we knew their age too. It's more than an honor to share our time here with these three giants who will be 80 years old this year.

There's a clearing in the lot that gets sun most of the day in the summer and that's where we planted our garden. It's next to the old potting shed that came with the lot. The shed enchants me and I think it holds a lot of promise but we haven't done anything with it yet except to store potting and yard supplies, and shelter stray cats.

Abby was our only pet to show interest in the creation of a garden. She lay down in between the garden space and the potting shed and supervised our work. The three of us had a beautiful day!

The experience over the weekend reminded me of "Make Our Garden Grow" from
Candide by Leonard Bernstein. I tested many YouTube videos today and there are some marvelous versions of the song. But this one by Barbra Streisand was the only to get to the heart of us, Mike and me, and our days in the sun together.



Hopper said...

Hi friend... just stumbled through here from bobb's zenspace where I saw your comment... I very much like the poem you've posted here (and make our garden grow)... I was thinking of a line that bobb wrote that's been stuck in my head for a while now... he said of me and my craft:

"In the end if the seeds he plants do not feed him then I will feed him, one garden to another."

Hope these words find you well...

Lydia said...

Hello Hopper,
Yes, your words found me well but up too late! Beautiful quote by bobbb.
I like that poem from Candide so much also. I can't find definitively who wrote the words. Wikipedia says of Candide: "The primary lyricist was Richard Wilbur. Other contributors to the text were John Latouche, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein."

Best Tuesday to you.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I'm so happy to hear the story of you acquiring the lot next door to save our precious trees......the willingness of other to destroy such beauty for the sake of construction is upsetting.....

We just had the city come down our road trimming the over grown brush.....he took out some very old blackberry bushes, honeysuckles, small trees, etc. with the plant eating machine....Cody had to go out and stop him at one point......our road is looking really bear right now, but I suppose by the end of the summer it would have been really overgrown.....I still don't like it though!

Lydia said...

Wayfaring Wanderer,
I hear ya. Last year on a drive to Reno through the Mount Shasta Wilderness area I was just loving the feeling of being right in the forest. Then there were miles ahead where the road was being widened (soon to come to the point I'd just passed through) and to do this they skinned a lot. I made peace with it because at least it was honest.

What I loathe around Oregon (& my brother reports the same thing in Minn.) is when they clear-cut a forest, leaving a wide enough patch along the highway/road to trick you into thinking it's a full forest. There are websites that feature aerial views of this atrocity.

a little bird said...

CUTEST puppy ever, second only to my cute puppy : )

Mibsy said...

WONDERFUL, LYDIA, WONDERFUL! I am not familiar with Candide but with the joy of putting in a garden I am.

Lydia said...

Agree. I'm sorta in love with Sampson. If you ever decide to go be a monk I will gladly care for him while you are zoning out. :)

I've never seen Candide in production, only snippets of scenes created for special events. I hope it comes to Portland.
No weeding today, just watering. :)

Petrea said...

Thank you for saving the sequoias. Would that everyone in the world thought and felt as you do, Lydia.

I've been gardening lately, too. How I love to be one with the dirt. You express your process of husbanding this new part of your compound so well!

Lydia said...

Thanks much. It's fun to think of you gardening, too. I've given up on caring about my fingernails and just go for it!
The Sequoias are so wonderful. I'll have to post some pics later on.

Petrea said...

I've come to think of my fingernails as gardening tools.

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

How beautiful
And what a garden!!

Amazing how something so simple
Can be something so

Abby is a smart dog
Sharing your joy
She knows what is important

And so your garden grows
The roots go deep
Deeper than you might think
The seeds you plant
Take you into the future

Your home
Sequoia trees
Love shared
Radiating from within

So many gardens you have
You fill them all
With love

And for what it is worth
I will just say here
That all other things aside
At least one of those seeds
Which you cherish and tend with love
Came from your dad

See how the universe
Takes it all in
And gives it back to us
With love
For we are
Her garden

Lydia said...

You leave me speechless, you who lives in poetry, is a poem.

Lydia said...

Sometimes (most times) lol just doesn't say it. Your comment made me laugh out loud!



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