EDEN REVISITED Gavel Gamut By Jim RedwineThe Garden of Eden set a standard no other garden can match. All Adam and Eve had to do were wander around fig leaf-less and enjoy earth’s bounty. Well, there was that small inconvenience of avoiding the fruit of one tree, but even with that tree, there was no pruning, no Japanese beetles and no cultivation. Not even the concept of weeding and tilling was mentioned. In sum, neither a hoe nor Roundup were issued. There was no need for Adam to devise strategies to avoid his wife’s complaints that Mother Nature was winning the battle over whether fruits and vegetables or crabgrass would dominate. Adam could simply prop up his feet and if he could have accessed cable T.V., watch football without guilt. Ah, if only Peg’s garden were the same. “Jim, have you ever looked at the garden recently? I have no idea what that stuff is growing out there but it sure is not the late-season vegetables I planted. It is humiliating to see the neighbors’ weed-free plants. Don’t you care?”I bit my tongue and suppressed a truthful response. “Would you like for me to till the garden AGAIN?” Then I suggested IGA had a cornucopia of ripe and blemish-free tomatoes and onions. “You know, Peg, grocery stores need our business. We should try to be good community members and help keep those folks employed.” That sounded reasonable, to me.“We buy plenty of groceries that we can’t grow such as paper products, detergent, peanut butter, and practically everything else we need. The stores won’t close if you weed our garden so we can grow a few fresh tomatoes. Is that stupid football game about over?” I did not tell her it was the third game of the day.As I put down my iced tea and forced myself off the couch my life flashed through my brain. How did this come to be? Did it go all the way back to Eve? Did her seemingly benign offering of a weed-free apple to Adam determine the fate for all husbands for all time? And if it is not too impertinent to raise this issue, why did God include weeds in His grand scheme anyway? It’s probably as simple as He didn’t have a wife so He wasn’t worried.Anyway, I slowly went from my cool den to my hot barn and found my two-cycle gas tiller. The tiller was about as reluctant as I was to face the hopelessly entwined non-edible vegetation. I primed the engine. I used starter fluid. I pulled on the cord for what seemed like an hour, so much so I caused a blister before the tiller gave up and started. Then I trudged through the tangled mess that Peg claims are a garden. I completely understood the poetic analogy of William Cullen Bryant’s poem Thanatopsis in which he cautioned against approaching death (or gardening) like one being “scourged to his dungeon”. What I could not do was conquer my desire to dig out my old container of 2-4D and use the nuclear option. Unfortunately, Peg had anticipated just such a course of action and she had already disposed of it.Okay, after only two hours and one blister the garden was tilled. Perhaps it will be at least two weeks before the weeds reemerge in all their sardonic evil. Once again, I ask you, would it have been too hard to design the whole thing better?For more Gavel Gamut articles go to www.jamesmredwine.comOr “Like” us on Facebook at JPegRanchBooks&KnittingFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
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