I made it out to the garden, for the first time in over a month, to get some last things done before the Siberian freeze hits tonight. Ach, I've been a woeful caretaker of the garden this fall. I've succumbed to excuse after excuse for leaving things undone. I walked through the garden, reciting my litanies of couldawouldashoulda, and turned my mind to all the ways in which I bring the seven deadly sins into my gardening:
Lust: You mean there are reactions to seeing a desirable plant other than: "How do I get that into my (garden) bed?"
Gluttony: Two words: seed catalogs.
Avarice: Sharing beats hoarding...I should try it sometime.
Sloth: Oh, should I have dug up the dahlias two months ago?
Anger: Bunnies...Floppy. Hoppy. Bunnies.
Envy: I don't really envy those who can, say, fill their gardens with full-price designer perennials with a flick of the checkbook. I do envy those with sprawling space, with room for garden room upon garden room, and nooks and vistas...and water.
Pride: Because every time a bloom opens to perfection, it is so all about me.
And then the garden worked its grace, as my thoughts quieted enough to take in the sound of shears cutting burlap, the scent of scrapings from the bayberries turned white from blue, and the sight of the bare trees against the low haze of cloud cover.
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
"Simple Gifts", Shaker traditional, 1848.
(The sins are presented in reverse order of their sequence in Henry Fairlie's The Seven Deadly Sins Today, which is worth your while if you, like me, tend to suffer from recurrent, highly deliberate amnesia about these things.)