Today was not a day I felt like doing anything much. Just coming back from a week-long vacation has done nothing for my ambition or attitude. Work seems more tedious, the people more annoying and the atmosphere more suffocating. By the time I got home, the only thing that sounded enticing was the couch.
Days like this make me want to give up on my renovations. Every time I look at my gardens, all I can see is what still needs to be done. The weeds continue to rampage unchecked. The groundhog still thumbs his little nose at us. The pond needs cleaning and the lilies never did get fertilized. It's enough to make anyone feel discouraged and it sure makes that couch look like nirvana.
Since I hurt my back this past spring, my darling, and long-suffering, spouse has taken it upon himself to load wheelbarrows with mulch for me whenever I need them. No matter what he's in the middle of, if he sees an empty wheelbarrow, he runs for the shovel, perhaps thinking I'll try it again myself if he doesn't. I tell him he needn't worry, I really did learn my lesson this time. He just rolls his eyes.
So I come home tonight, in my mood, and my Sweetie has the big wheelbarrow all loaded up and parked near the area I last cleared out and he has a big grin on his face. What could I do? I thanked him lavishly, changed my clothes and spent the evening spreading mulch.
When I started, I was just going through the motions. It seemed so little compared to the big picture. And, of course, the dandelions and oxalis had started to pop back up as we had some rain since my last foray into the weed patch.
A funny thought came to my head, though, while I was working. If you stood back a bit, it looked as though a black tide (the mulch) was sweeping through the garden. Much the way the weeds had swept through it when I was distracted by the new area. It sounds goofy, putting it down here, but it felt like I really was making headway, albeit slowly.
Did you ever read the short story "Leiningen versus the Ants" in high school? A really whacked out story about a plantation owner who tries to prevent army ants from destroying his land. I was feeling a little like the ants by the end of the evening. (I am gardener, hear me roar!)
So my tip tonight? Just do it. Every little bit helps, even if you don't see it at first.
Be the ants.