gardening at dusk
Today I did things on the computer (some fun). And then, the opportunity to pull some weeds in a garden cropped up. (insert rim shot)
I flashed back to my childhood when my parents would request my presence in the large plot out by the barn. The tilling by hand, planting, watering, and weeding the rows of corn, cauliflower, green beans, and zucchini that grew too well. There were other things, like sunflowers – but that’s not the point of this tangent.
I didn’t enjoy it.
I couldn’t wait to do something else. Something I chose to do–whether it be building a dam in the creek with sticks or playing Magnavox.
So I put on the gloves, dug in the dirt, and eliminated plants that were not supposed to be there.
It was wonderful. There were no buttons, or scrolling bits of information, or blank boxes that should be filled. It was just a simple task, easy to gauge, and immediately rewarding.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing computers. Love em.
I was thinking about all the things I kinda hated as a kid, but loved now. (Coffee, beer, anything but thousand island dressing — insert list)
Then, when that got too hard (bummering), conversation started to think about all the things loved in youth, that are still cherished. (Snow in the morning, sleeping to rain, Magnavox derivatives, last day of school –insert list).
Anyway, I just kept pulling these weeds, and it was enjoyable. I was taken aback. I knew exactly how to finish something.
2 responses to “weedin”
I experienced a near identical feeling yesterday… turned off the computer and cleaned. Just cleaned and straightened and put things back in their rightful home and threw out unwanted accumulations of cruft — old newspapers, boxes, padded mailers, etc. The area that needed cleaning was especially cluttered and dirty so the payoff was big. There is an immediate gratification and feeling of accomplishment from performing a physical task that I feel like I’ve lost when doing “knowledge work.”
I was talking with someone the other day about childhood dislikes turning into adult likes. Mine: pickles, mustard, sauerkraut, tomatoes, most forms of fish, ham (strangely) and of course coffee and beer.
There’s a certain cathartic effect to manual labor which doesn’t require much in the way of brain function. Sadly, I think it’s one of those missing elements to modern life that perhaps plays a role in why people feel so disaffected. I don’t know though… I’m just rambling.