Saturday, July 07, 2012

Being a human non-bean

Weeding the bean row is easy: just grab hold of anything that isn't a bean plant and yank it out of the ground. This morning, though, I started with a more challenging task: pulling weeds from amongst the beets, radishes, and dill growing in close proximity. Radishes look weedy any day of the week, while the feathery dill stalks and tiny red beet leaves mingle so closely that they sometimes come right out of the ground along with the weeds.

Nevertheless this morning while shade still shrouded the radish-beet-dill row I knelt as if in supplication and carefully separated the weeds from the plants, breathing in the pungent scent of dill as bees buzzed among the yellow-orange squash blossoms one row over. The garden is apparently immune from the effects of catastrophic power failures. The zucchini just keep growing, determined to fill my freshly cleaned refrigerator. 

And the weeds don't mind either. I finished off the beet-radish-dill row and then moved to the sunny side of the garden to help my husband weed the beans. The thick, bushy bean plants are distinctive enough to stand out even from knee-high weeds, so it's easy to yank up every non-bean. Suddenly I'm reminded of a T-shirt I wore as a child, a plain white shirt emblazoned with a green bean and the words "Be a human bean." How many labels did we send to Del Monte to earn that shirt and why did I love it so much that I wore it long after the words had faded?

That shirt is long gone but today I'm stooping in the sunny bean patch, sweat pouring down my face and dirt plastering my arms and legs as I mindlessly pull every non-bean I see until finally I find that the only remaining non-bean in the row is me. I'm a human non-bean! 

So I promptly yank myself right out of the garden and head for the house to enjoy a tall glass of iced tea.

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