Letting (Myself) Go

You've heard that phrase, "how you do anything is how you do everything"?  By the looks of things around here, I tend to let things go until their need for attention reaches a critical state.


Exhibit A: my hair.  It looks like an Amish haystack.  (Do you know those Amish farmers stack their hay themselves, no mechanical hay-picker-uppers, not even a horse-drawn one?  I watched a man in this field, scooping up armloads of mown hay and placing them on top of one another.)

Exhibit B: my garden.  I go for days without tending it.  When guilt and curiosity finally compel me toward my raised beds, I find there's food there.  Like this cucumber.  I don't remember planting cucumbers.  Did I plant cucumbers?


I'm equally stymied by strange developments in garden neglect, like the dying off of my squash vines.  One of my beds looks like a big dog laid down to take a nap in the middle of it.  

Oh, yeah, and there's squash.  WOW.

The cycle of life and death seems to go through its motions without my having much of a say, both in my garden and in life. Control is just an illusion.  

I just heard from someone very close to me that they lost another pregnancy.  It's their fourth miscarriage. How could something so innate as reproduction be so elusive?  I spent so much time in my 20s and 30s worried about getting pregnant!  All those intimate moments interrupted, so that I could spend ten minutes trying to get the proper grip on a rubber diaphragm coated with sperm-killing jelly.  It worked, I didn't have any kids then.  I don't have any kids now.  I couldn't will them into being, years later, even though I and several fertility specialists tried.  It turns out the mechanisms that unite sperm and egg and cause baby are much more nuanced, much more easily disrupted, than I would have believed.

Commodity corn and soybeans are reaching their peak, and the little ad signs of seed sellers like DeKalb and Pioneer and Buckeye are appearing next to the lushest fields.  Each claims to have this boom and bust cycle of growth and decline within their control: yields and traits and protein content, oil estimates, root strength and test weights.  Then heavy rains come along, and throw everything askew.  

Life gets scary when you let go of the wheel, and even scarier when you realize that you weren't really steering when you had your hands on it, either.  But I'm trying not to be scared.  I'm going for the kind of delight that I experienced when I found that cucumber.  WOW.  Look at this!  Look at what I didn't even do!