Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jump Down, Pick a Bale of Cotton

I'm not a fan of winter. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it is a necessity but it curtails the bloomy goings on in my yard and I just can't get beyond a bit of resentment over that. So I take it out on my yard and ignore it for a couple of months. The problem with petulantly turning my back on the garden all winter is that Mother Nature takes up the gardening chores in my absence and we have quite different taste and styles. She tends to like Florida Betony and Chickweed. Me, not so much.

But in anticipation of our average last-frost date just around the corner, I've emerged from semi- hibernation, rubbed my eyes a few times, eaten a few honey-soaked biscuits and marvelled at what a speedy gardener Mother Nature is. The weeds are thick. Some of them I know I will have to spray with herbicide but others I'm trying to handpull and it is overwhelming!

Overwhelming, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Being a bit of history geek and a born southerner, looking at all those weeds made me think of the old song "Jump Down, Pick a Bale of Cotton" (to see a vido of folk musician Lead Belly performing the song click and that made me think of all the agricultural workers, past and present, black and white and every other color, here and abroad, who've picked bales/buckets/pallets of cotton/whatever day in and day out for years under a hot sun and with meager rations for meager compensation if any.

Yikes, what a wimp I am!