“Seek peace and pursue it.” – St. Benedict
As the Summer Solstice draws near, I’m looking for fresh creativity and new ideas.
Once I week, I drive to Frenchy’s Field, the nearby community garden where four other women and I planted and now tend four plots. This morning, while watering the rows of spinach, tomato plants, cabbage and cucumbers, I admitted to myself that Arundati, the sequel to Beast of Bengal, isn’t writing itself. It cries out for more of my time. I also vowed to accelerate the revision of Santa Fe on Foot-Adventures in the City Different.
That said, beginning in late June, I’ll be posting every other Monday. In the fall, I will most likely go back to weekly posts.
Like most writers I know, however, I’m always writing. People at Frenchy’s Field tend to be congenial. There’s a hospitable air, and so even as I gardened, I harvested material for future plots or subplots.
The city watering hours are only from six to ten a.m. and four to eight p.m. When I approached the garden around nine, someone was already there, gently hosing the plots that she had adopted. She handed over the hose so I could water my territory, and we chatted. It turned out that she also was a writer. We talked briefly about our published books. She had a long bike ride ahead and I had four plots to water before the ten a.m. deadline, but it was likely, we agreed, that the garden would bring us together again.
Another encounter happened as I was locking the padlocked gate to go home. A tall man wearing a bereft expression was calling for “Roy,” the dog he’d lost just a few hours earlier. Having recently lost my adopted orange kitty Thomas Cromwell, I related to Roy’s owner, and I wanted to help.
“He was last seen right around here,” the man explained, giving me a full description of his pet, as well as a telephone number and e-mail address. I assured him that I’d pass along the description of Roy – brown, labrador mix, shy and gentle – to people I met in Frenchy’s park. It turned out that before I got to my car, I’d alerted several dog-walking people to look for Roy.
Gardening seems to go quite well with writing. It provides a quiet, thoughtful time. It can also yield rewarding interactions with total strangers. Like seeds sprouting under the earth’s surface, ideas grow and break through. I went home and wrote for the rest of the morning.