Monday, May 21, 2007

work and wait

Our garden is almost planted. The rain finally stopped some time last night so I got out this morning and put in the rest of the tomatoes and a few other things. Instead of annuals, I’ve filled most all of our containers and with various kinds of herbs. Here is the complete list (I think):

  • three kinds of lettuce
  • six kinds of tomatoes
  • white eggplant
  • four kinds of peppers
  • rainbow Swiss chard
  • Brussels sprouts
  • broccoli
  • fennel
  • green beans
  • butternut squash
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • garlic
  • sweet, purple, Thai, lemon, and cinnamon basil
  • chocolate, orange, and lemon mint
  • Greek oregano
  • sweet marjoram
  • arugula
  • cilantro
  • strawberries
Wow! That’s the first time I’ve written down an inventory of what is growing in our yard. Pretty cool. Now comes the hard part: waiting both to see what makes it to the bearing stage and to eat what we grow – as well as give a bunch of it away.

After I finished planting, I came in and showered and drove to Plymouth to file for unemployment compensation. The last time I was there was when The Owner laid me off in January. Since the players were still the same in today’s scene, the script, as it were, was still in the computer so my trip didn’t take long. When I was first substitute teaching in Boston I got laid off and had to file as well. They’ve done a lot of work on the “career centers” since then. The office in Plymouth is spacious and clean and the people behind the counter are friendly, at least by New England customer service standards. One side of the office is lined with cubicles where the folks who work there help you get in the system. The other side of the room has a few cubicles with computer terminals where you can go online to look for jobs or take a tutorial. There’s also a long table with newspapers and other employment circulars. There were a couple of folks ahead of me to see a counselor, so I browsed both the print and online versions of the classifieds to see what I could find. The guy who processed my form was nice and efficient and we finished quickly. As I was walking out, I saw the guy who processed me the last time with whom I made a pretty good connection. I stopped at his cubicle to say hello and was surprised at how much of my case he remembered. Then he said, “Hey, I looked at your blog and go back there from time to time.”

I needed that.

I took a back road home so I could stop and see if there were any other interesting vegetables or herbs at some of the small nurseries on Route 53 with a mind to ending up at the gym. I was determined to get there, even though I’m still learning to like it, because it helps with my depression. And it gives Ginger and I a chance to act out one of our favorite scenes from Designing Women when Mary Jo says she likes jogging because it releases endorphins and Suzanne says, “Endorphins – you mean like Flipper?” My body was ready for the exercise today and I got a good workout. Tomorrow is weigh in at Weight Watchers, so I will get to see another benefit from my time on the elliptical machine. (In related news, there’s a new recipe.)

What the three strands of my day have in common is both working and waiting: the now and the not yet, or (perhaps better) the what will be. I planted things that will take anywhere from five to ten weeks to produce what they were created to produce. I set things in motion in Plymouth that will give me some money coming in (starting in a couple of weeks) and create some possibilities for what comes next. I’m going to spend a lot more time watching Sports Center while I work the machine (let the machine work me?) to transform my image of myself both physically and mentally. It’s all good and it all takes time. When it comes to my depression, the same formula applies: work and wait.

Work and wait. The words remind me of William Carey’s words, “Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God.” He is one of my father’s heroes because of his persistence. Carey went to India as a missionary and was there for three years before anyone he met chose to follow Christ. I’m not sure I’m dealing in the Great Things department in my life right now, but I like the combination of verbs: attempt and expect -- work and wait.

What is true for great things, I trust, is true for small things.

Peace,
Milton

9 comments:

towanda said...

your garden sounds delightful. may your life be as well.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Hey Milton the Magnificent!! I applaud your plucky tenacity! God bless you brother.

I see the potential of your own restaurant in the future. Meantime, does your church have a kitchen? Just thinking that folks might be happy to chip in to a once a week or once a month even dinner by Milton.

T.Gray said...

The kingdom of God-
Here, now...but not yet.

Blessings-Tom

Tess said...

Glad to hear that you are forging ahead in these times of difficulty for you. I love the plant inventory. They do chocolate mint??!! I must get some.

Cecilia said...

Also, a Mother Teresa quote: "Do small things with great love, and let the [great thanksgiving banquet] be your joy." (My own interpretation between the brackets.

You are in my prayers friend.

Pax, C.

Anonymous said...

You are in my thoughts... what a weird and wonderful community is out there... the fellowship of believers.

Your garden has inspired me... I only have a couple of herbs, so now must find more. and something has eaten ALL my broccoli! sometimes the working and waiting involves replanting it seems!

As I drive around town today (my life as chauffeur) I will offer prayers for you. Peace to you. K

Brett said...

Your garden sounds terrific. Your days seem so full.

zorra said...

Your garden sounds like such a blessing, and very healing to work in. I pray you're having a positive day today.
Now excuse me while I get up and go work out....

Anonymous said...

Ah, planting time. I am looking forward to seeing what comes up in your garden, in all ways. I'm glad you are keeping (and sharing) a record of your days. May they overflow with the warmth and joy you spread around here.