The Wyrm of Jealousy (Staying Cool in the Shade)

briar rose
from the series The Legend of Briar Rose by Edward Burne-Jones

I am just learning about permaculture but everything I’ve read so far about the paradigm resonates with our situation. I love the optimism, especially. Aspects of our property that seemed like disadvantages now look like opportunities.

For example, I admit I used to lament the fact that we lived in deep shade completely isolated from the outside world.

Just how dim could it be? It was kind of like living in the fairy tale Briar Rose. I did what I could to keep the family cheery but it was not terribly safe. What if the apocalypse came and nobody could tell us?

So every summer someone needed to make the perilous journey to the edge of the property line to act as an ambassador to the outside world. We agreed I was probably the best equipped for cross-cultural relations since I had taken an anthropology course once. Machete in hand I hacked my way through the shrubbery to a magical world where the people of the sun always seemed to be smiling. Everywhere I looked I saw homegrown tomatoes and colorful flowers. Oh, how happy the people of the sun were. They lived in a rainbow world. I took pictures, interviewed informants and returned home with accounts of exotic life forms to share with the family.

But there is no turning back once you have tasted the fruit of jealousy. Returning to my 50 shades of green, I’d sigh and despondently flip through plant porn catalogs filled with images of all the things I couldn’t grow.

Come the fall my family would get a chance to also witness the sun. It was a wan version but still a time for rejoicing. “Hey, everybody! Let’s rake leaves!” Raking the leaves was a bit like building the Egyptian pyramids in terms of effort but I enjoyed every second the sun touched my skin. “This is what Vitamin D feels like,” I’d say to my son so he could someday explain to his children the wonder of it all. At the end of the week we’d end up with 2 cubic yards of leaves, a few broken rakes and blistered hands but it was all ok. Wasn’t it?

Thank goodness for my new permaculture religion and its acceptance of woodland people, shade and letting sleeping leaves lie. I feel whole again.

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2 thoughts on “The Wyrm of Jealousy (Staying Cool in the Shade)

  1. Working with nature instead of against is just so much more sane. I love your blog so much. =) Thanks for the visit.

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