Monday, October 30, 2006

burying talents and bulbs

I've been feeling pressure to get bulbs planted lately, so much so that I got myself a blisted in the middle of my palm. I've planted a bunch, am excited and hopeful about what the spring may bring.

This past Saturday, as I was trying to dig some holes in the Julian soil--having sworn that I would never again attempt to move a shovel through it after we finish the foundation on this darn building project--I was thinking of commentary on the Parable of the Talents I read once. As I recall, it was by Ched Myers and someone else. (I couldn't find it online when I looked just now. The Other Side has ceased to exist online, and that makes me sad.) In it, they offered a fresh view of the parable. The man who buried his talent in the ground, they suggest, may actually be the hero of this story, told to working-class folk. They'd see the clever pun--and know the difference between the kind of amazing things that are able to multiply when buried and the things that just rust. (They have a whole commentary about how the rich man who gave out the talents must be a greedy rich man, and how the little guy saw through that.)

But the piece that feels fun to me, as I think about the parable, is how desperate I now feel about getting these things buried.

The bulbs I have now are ones that my sisters-in-law and I dug up in Julian. They'd been planted by Matt's grandmother years ago, and multiplied themselves into a bounty of springtime yellow. And though the Cedar Fire destroyed the house, the next spring, those bulbs burst forth into life again.

It still amazes me that a fire that could melt cast iron skillets did not destroy bulbs. It gives me hope.

SO, the problem is that the new house we're building went right on top of where most of the bulbs were. So, one day late in that spring, we drove up to try to dig as many bulbs as we could. Now, I'm no expert in these things, but my understanding is that bulbs need to keep their leaves as longs as posslble so they can shift from giving out their blooms to storing up food for the next year's season. And we most certainly cut that process short.

These bulbs already have a lot against them--a too-short life cycle, and, now, they've been out of the ground through one whole year's cycle.

I feel like, if they're gonna go on living, they need to get in the ground this year. Which leads me to my blister-inducing activities.

And it all feels very bold and daring--getting something buried so it has a chance at living.

1 comment:

Marian said...

I love bulbs! Sounds great. Also... nice new photo in your profile. Good looking house you got there. : - )