Things Take Time, Sometimes They Need To Move
March 9, 2021
For some reason this agave plant (I think it’s an agave plant?) fascinates me. It was given to me by my mother in a pot and was beautiful. It slowly was dying over the year at my house due to waves of neglect and then over-watering. I didn’t know how much sun it needed, nor did I care to look it up nor ask questions. I gave it to my mother-in-law, and she wasn’t able to revive it. It was dying on our roofdeck and I did not know why. I had started composting using the hashtag #guerillacomposting at an undisclosed work location. I started some plantings but mostly small succulent leaves that could be explained away as a chance appearance created by a gardening fairy or gnome. But this agave or aloe plant was my biggest planting in this particular location. I figured if it didn’t take, I could always remove it later. So I planted it in a planter that had compost around it. I visit it at least once a week and squirt some water there. I meant to save the plant, but also to regenerate the soil. I think it’s been 3 months, and the plant is happy.
This morning I was late to the computer, and my mother-in-law noticed. I didn’t sleep straight through the night, as I forgot to put my phone away in it’s bed. But overall I sleep very well these days. Before coming down for coffee and to blog, I watered the roofdeck trees and garden with my new watering can that is a shade of green I’m kind of in love with. It’s one of the few new things I’ve purchased in a while. So funny how I’m at that stage that a pretty green watering can that costs $5 at Home Depot can make me so happy.
With plants and the earth, you have to kind of check in on the living beings that you are tending periodically. I looked at the blueberry bush up stairs on the roofdeck that I’m trying to figure out. I moved it a few feet, because if may have been getting too much sun. I added compost yesterday and really pressed the earth firmly around it’s roots. I bought the new watering can because I think I hadn’t been watering it evenly enough. I checked the leaves of the two citrus trees and some of the succulents. And then I wandered downstairs and checked on the compost and stirred it a bit. but it doesn’t need much today. And I said hi to my friends the backyard birds who come to visit so often, and I saw my spirit animal the Black Phoebe across the alleyway at the neighbor’s house.
I’m home today doing virtual meetings all day, departmental meetings from 9-12, and then climate meeting 12-1 and then doing family financial things since I’ll be on my own time by then. It’s amazing that I’m actually part time. After 12pm, I’m on my own time but folks still call and feel entitled to have their Assistant Boss. It’s not unlike me calling someone at home during dinner time at 6pm and demanding an answer to a question. But that is the nature of middle management and part time work when you work more than 40 hours as week as a “part-time” doctor and I’ve accepted that. I once had someone look at me and tell me I could not be a phyisican leader because I was not full time. That woke me up to realize those that support women leaders aren’t necessarily who you think they will be. Dr. Plastic Picker is ever the jaded physician leader sometimes the further I go along. I’m better about being mindfull of being truly off during the weekends, as I realize it’s better for everyone that we all turn in off during the weekend unless we are really working. It’s like the agave/aloe plant, the department and it’s people needed to be left alone. Sometimes more is not better, it’s just more and pointless like overwatering a succulent.
Gardening is very much like litter-picking, it’s a very mindful and a slow pasttime. It helps me slow my mind and reminds me to be present, and not worry about the endless what ifs and the tomorrows. I’m still dreaming of soil and compost, and I lived a minor dream yesterday. I had made compost and brought some from home, and spread it around a new planter. It looks gross to some people and I saw someone shy away from it, but I made it and I’ve been reading up on compost. I know that it is filled with fungal networks and bacterial connections and it’s going to rebuild the soil in that planter. It needs to happen before anything can be successfully planted there.