The Garden Wall

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(one pear tree against the garden wall)

 

I wonder if

you sensed that

I was wending my heart

towards you,

hurtling through space

as we drove to Santa Fe

to bring you back

to a sheltered round?

I cringe thinking

of those I left behind –

Will they find good homes too?

Choice -making

always has consequences.

 

I chose your dwelling place.

I hope that you will thrive

under the Garden Wall.

We dug two holes

just outside

my kitchen window.

I imagined May flowering…

pure white blossoms

and teardrop fruit,

birds perched in

rose red twigs, and

dove gray wings.

 

 

The Garden Wall

keeps a merciless sun

from scorching

branches

and trunks,

peeling back tender bark.

(shriveling heartwood

is a natural crime).

The harsh west wind

cannot harm you here.

Ground water flows

feeds thirsty roots,

vibrating Light.

Delicate threads

of mycelia fan out until

you greet each other

each strand pulsing

with information and feeling.

Both of you so excited!

 

 

You will never be lonely

For you are two

Keeping Company from

‘Above and Below.’

I bent

and kissed you both –

twice, upon your arrival.

I welcomed you “home”

with words.

I gifted you

with my heart.

 

After sinking your

precious root balls

into the deep,

Earth received you both.

With joy, I felt.

As your friend

I’ll spread more

compost –

nourishing tender roots.

Water you in Love.

Invite a toad

to bury herself

under the deep shade

of your boughs.

 

Grow

straight and tall!

Spread your branches thick.

Sprout lush green leaves,

Root yourselves wide

and deep enough

to bend –

Care deeply for one another –

Be proud to be two trees

whose pears may one day

feed hungry creatures

like deer and bear,

a raven or two,

and maybe even me.

Such wondrous generosity!

 

I learned so long ago

that trees and plants

like you

thrive on being loved.

You taught me to

think like tree –

to feel,

to listen,

to see.

My fierce affection,

attention to each root,

each stem,

each branch

each trunk,

each leaf

each thorn

each bud

each flower

each seed

really does

matter.

 

Our relationship

is like no other

You feel more

than I am capable

of comprehending.

 

You are the Eldest

Beings amongst us… some

450 million years strong.

 

Rejoice!

The moon will always

be your lover

rising full and round

bouncing pearls

off your adobe canvas,

etching twining boughs in charcoal,

praising the glorious Trees

that you are.

 

Working Notes:

 

When I moved here I hungered for a garden wall to protect my dogs and me from a dark west wind, a wind that blows incessantly in spring, a poisoned wind that chokes my lungs with dust, a fierce and deadly wind that carries smoke from the fires of millions of dying trees, the wind of heartbreak.

 

After the wall was built no one liked it but the lizards and me. Every afternoon they basked contentedly in the sun, and every time I walked around the half moon the wall sparkled with flecks of mica that had been ground into adobe skin. The wall was ten feet tall with three descending steps on the south. All summer the earth beneath it stayed barren, sprouting not one seed, but that wall kept the ferocious heat at bay. The backside of it was so hot I could not put my hand on it by mid -afternoon, but oh how well it shaded the enclosure it was built for.

 

I hope one day to have a little garden on the edge of the inner curve of the Garden Wall…

 

But first I wanted a fruit tree. I began to “see” her outside my kitchen window with a few birds in her branches and imagined the bees that would feast upon spring flowers…

 

I paid close attention to the health of the apple, peach, and cherry trees I visited with around here. So many were stressed, and this upset me greatly. Eventually I spoke at length to a wise and knowledgeable woman who loves all trees as much as I do. She suggested a pear tree because pears were more resilient to heat and dry conditions and two would provide cross pollination increasing the chance for better fruit. It was then I decided on two trees, not just for better pollination but because because I knew that trees like to be planted together. Trees that are isolated are lonely, and less able to resist disease. I hoped two trees would become companions for one another.

 

Planting here generally doesn’t occur until April but my gardening friend confirmed what I suspected, that this was the time of year to plant young trees. I was determined to have them in the ground by the end of February while their roots still slept and buds lay dormant.

 

I was “high” the day I went to get them – excitement bubbling over. I couldn’t wait to meet my trees. That night I began this poem. Today is the last day of February; my two trees are in the ground, and I am finishing this writing. My poetry is the prayer.

 

Last night I remembered that the first trees I had planted in the two houses I loved had been fruit trees. Twenty – six years ago for the first time I deliberately planted an orchard of mixed fruiting trees around my cabin, creating an oasis for the wild creatures that inhabited the area… but I was younger then and could do all my own physical work…

 

Alas, I am getting older and no longer have the strength to do much gardening, so these two trees will be the only ones I plant except for a few wild Juniper seedlings.

 

I am as thrilled with these two pear trees as I once was with thirty! And the one tree that the deer devoured in my Northern home was a pear tree that I never replaced. It hurt too much to lose her especially when I remembered that the last summer she lived she offered any who asked one of her hundred pears.

 

This memory reminds me that I am always returning to the beginning.

 

With Climate Change upon us I can only hope the pears will survive. I have given my little trees the initial care, love, and protection they need – the latter thanks to the Garden Wall.

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