Becoming a gardener. I have been measuring time in confinement by the flowers I have not been able to pick.

Recovery from my partial knee replacement surgery has been both easier and harder than I anticipated. The surgeon had told my husband that we should “Wait until week three!”

Near the end of the second week, without thinking I stood up and walked without my crutch. Suddenly realizing where I was and what I had done, I stood in the middle of a hall without a close wall or piece of furniture to ‘surf’ as my in-home therapist had phrased it, slightly panicking because I did not feel stable. For the past several days I have made sure that one of my crutches was at each end of any journeys I might take without thinking. Since almost the beginning I have used only one unless on uneven ground.

What I had not considered was the fatigue. The swelling and pain that come on with too much standing or walking was expected. There was never outrageous pain. The stiffness and pain, if I sat too long at my computer, was expected, and I have not been able to do the swift 5-minute walks each hour that I had trained myself to do when doing desk work for extended periods of time. But, the exhaustion I feel for so much of each day was not anticipated. It is debilitating.

Somehow, I had expected to be in my garden and yard, although I had conceded that I would not be able to fish for several weeks. On the day before surgery after rototilling the entire garden space, including areas that for years had been left to herbs and flowers, we managed to get almost all the tomato plants and a couple rows of peas, cucumbers, and beans planted. Somehow, I had thought that I would be able to finish the planting in a timely fashion.

Instead, I have been a prisoner, able only to watch from my window as the spring has now turned to summer. The garlic is almost curled, and I am still hopeful that I will be able to clip it next week. I can see blooms on the peas but had failed to get their fencing support between the rows, and the plants are lying on the ground. The weeds are thriving, and chives have gone to lovely lavender blooms. Speaking of lavender, from my low-vantage point those plants are indistinguishable from the high grass.

Lily-of-the-valley were the last flowers I picked, except for the one afternoon when we returned from an appointment and I took a hobble around the yard to rescue one iris and one peony that were so large they were bent to the ground. It was my only foray across the grass.

I have been measuring the time in confinement by the flowers I have not picked. No lilacs, no bridal wreath, no bouquet of peonies or iris. I missed the poppies’ blooming, saw the buds ready to burst, then the fallen petals. The plants are in a position that is not visible from my window.

I cannot wait to weed, to hoe the rows of plants trying valiantly to survive; to clear the flower beds of intruders and finally mulch them; to finish planting the window boxes. There are five more weeks before I should consider kneeling, but there is so much that could be accomplished in an upright position! All it will take is enough energy to walk all the way to the garden and still be able to do something,

Healing takes energy. All my energy. Lord grant me patience. NOW.

Namaste. Tight lines. Don’t think snow, yet.


Genie Jennings

About Genie Jennings

My blog, as my life, is composed of many interests. Because you are reading this, we must share at least one. They are divided into categories, so you can easily find others on our mutual topic. Also, you can avoid things on which we might diverge. Things labeled 'genie' are general life musings. When I took up fly fishing in earnest, I was struck by how much it was like skiing to me. It is an intricate activity that is easy to enter, and the more one knows, the more one realizes how little one knows. My comment was, "I would love to have something I love that does not require so much effort." I immediately knew that was not true. It is the striving that makes things valuable, and it is the striving that is life. I am evolving; I am becoming many things, a skier, a fly fisherman, an irrationally self-reliant human. I am becoming 'genie' whoever that might be.