Friday, March 28, 2014

Shear Happiness--Cutting Away


Yesterday was Happiness day in a writers' group, and I missed it because I had a date with the outdoors to begin the Spring cleanup. Outdoors. Let me say that again. OUTDOORS!

After the longest, coldest, snowiest winter in memory, the ground is thawing, the snow is gone, and the mess left behind became glaringly apparent. I set the date for the day this week that looked, from the ever-reliable forecasters, to be the best, set the time for my yard helper to come, and, of course, the forecast changed from mid-50s and sunny to mid-40s with intermittent showers.

Ha. As if a gray, chilly, drizzly day would stop me. It's Spring, dammit, and I was committed.

We worked for two and a half hours and filled two trash barrels and four large trash bags with the shriveled lamb's ear, the old hydrangea blooms, and, the biggest task--the ornamental grasses.

I have several kinds, from huge maiden grasses to smaller fountain grasses and reed grasses. They are some of the few things that stay when the rest of the gardens are cut back and cleaned up in the fall. In winter, they are lovely, their straw color emerging from the snow.

But by the end of winter, battered down by snow and wind, they become like those passages that survived all the edits. Until the final cut. The time you need to get out the scalpel, like Hannibal, and slice out the last of the lovelies.

Or, in the case of the grasses, the shears.

Okay, the day was chilly, it did rain, a bit. My back, as usual, complained at the bending and stretching. And it was all pure pleasure. Happiness in doing the work. Happiness in being outdoors, feeling the wind, even getting sprinkled upon.

Where tangled, bent things lay, now just shorn clumps remain, ready to spring into action. And that will come soon enough.

Right now, though, happiness is cutting. Actually having cut. Before, doing, and after. That part of any creative endeavor where taking away, eliminating, editing out, is its own reward. Now I can see the daffodils and hyacinths pushing up.

Or maybe it's just that it finally is Spring!

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