I love watering the garden early in the morning—it comes alive and I am drawn to it, standing and staring for hours while the rest of the world floats on. I have rigged up a series of soaker hoses into all of the vegetable beds; one long tube branches off for each bed so that I can control how long each is watered. It is a good system, held together by beloved hose clamps, although it does explode with a geyser several times during the season and I always rush in for repairs without turning the water off beforehand. You would think that I would learn after the first experience of a faceful of water, but…This morning, the hoses hummed softly to themselves, millions of fine sprays soaking into the earth. Occasionally one shoots higher into the air, watering the grass, but a shift in the straw mulch that is now covering all of the beds redirects the stream back into the soil.
Drawn by the sound of water, all of the living creatures are out today. The honeybees are loving the Shirley poppy stand—it hums when I walk by. Each flower has a bee in the center, working away. Flies investigate the buckwheat back by the blueberries. A dragon fly comes into the shallow blue bowl for a drink, then perches on the chicken fence, out of reach of the cat. A bumblebee stumbles along in the white clover between two beds. A young jay fussed that this is HIS yard, not some other birds. The larger creatures are here as well. Kayli lounges under the garden bench in the shade, considering a fly hunt. Lucy washes, perched on the top of the ladder that I had out to string up a trellis. The chickens are all lurking by the gate, hoping that I will toss them an overgrown radish or a sorrel leaf. I hunt among the plants, looking for overnight changes. Yesterday, I discovered a cauliflower, ready to eat, in the Spring Bed. Today, I check the peas and broccoli, strawberries and blueberries. Margi already has a zucchini—are mine even blooming yet? No. I make a list in my mind of chores that still need doing—plants that need to be tied up, trimming around the beds, some fall seeds to start—but there is no rush. Sufficient order prevails for right now. The water wishes on through the hoses and the world pauses—at least for an hour or so on a summer morning.