Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our Potting Bench

This post is dedicated to the memory of my father who was a farmer, born and bred.

He built our potting bench.

He might not have approved of the way R.H. and I have cluttered it up, but I know he
would agree with the thoughts of David Grayson, quoted here from A Countryman's Year.

"If only everyone could get his feet somewhere, somehow,
down into the soil. Not farming necessarily,
but at least a little plot of ground, a tree or two,
bees, flowers--even a pot of tulips in the window."

"We constantly underestimate the immense and solid satisfaction,
the comfort, countrymen get out of the homeliest facts of life:
eating, sleeping, working, resting, playing, loving--smoking!
Currying horses, discussing cows, dogs, fertilizers, seeds;
driving automobiles, tinkering farm machinery, spraying trees,
building a new back porch,
planting a vine, putting up a trellis;
reading the newspaper, listening to the radio.
I could name a thousand things more!"

"I was up at sunrise and went out into the dewy world--
long shadows on the grass,
the sun just touching the treetops,
as fine a June morning as ever I saw in my life."

"One foot in a garden--at least that, for joy."

"Blessed is the man who can enjoy the small things,
the common beauties;
the little day-by-day events,
sunshine on the fields, birds on the bough,
breakfast, dinner, supper;
the daily paper on the porch,
a friend passing by."

"I have lived here upon this hillside for many years,
and it seems to me I love it better
with every changing season."

"It is not limitation of life that plagues us.
Life is not limited:
it is the limitation of our awareness of life."

"In time of suffering and trouble
try coming to the country to be free and simple.
Get your hands daily into the soil.
It may not be your only work;
you may wish also to teach Greek, or write novels,
or make butter bowls, or work in a garage,
but somewhere, somehow, 
each day get back to your own garden,
or tree or grass plot. 
It may be that you will come presently
to serenity."
quotes by David Grayson
in A Countryman's Year

This last quote of David Grayson's is a tenet that my father lived by. And wherever he lived became the country and he got his hands daily into the soil. He always managed to make planting and growing and reaping part of his life: produce buyer, garden center owner, nursery plant grower. He was like Edna Ferber's character Ben Westerveld who "could grow a crop on rock."

Our family knows that today Daddy is tending the gardens of heaven.

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