Care of the Soul
Thomas More, in his books on the soul, tells of how one cares for the soul. (Yes, you'd have to accept the fact that you have a soul.) And one cares for the soul not necessarily in great gestures and grand art, but in small daily routines. The soul flourishes in bread dough, play, reading, dirt. Digging in the dirt nourishes the soul. I like that. When I garden, I think I'm planting novels, poems.

I've been putting some chapters of Hummingbird's Daughter II in today, that's for sure.

I'm mourning the loss of my pal, the great poet Rane Arroyo. And I'm getting ready for several soulful things: Megan's high school graduation, book tour. But most on my mind right now is the garden: in a few days, a crew of landscape architects hits our front yard and remakes it. Most of my stuff out there will be gone, baby, gone. Japanese maples and pear trees and all kinds of cool new plants and grasses and a new brick seating area and a wall. We will sit out there in the afternoons sipping tea and spying on our street like the old farts we just about are.

So I'm saving bleeding hearts, chrysanthemums (thinking of Basho and the haiku masters), lavender (thinking about France), columbines--my colorful connection to the holy Rocky Mtns. I am astounded that the columbines have decided that the entire planet must be covered in columbines. I have columbines coming out my ears. You want a columbine? How about a baby maple? My trees--King Ralph and Queen Sally (named, of course, by Chayo) drop 10,000,000 helicopter seeds and I am faced with the Godzilla-like task of annihilating little tiny forests every spring. Hate it. For a San Diego boy, used to brown, it feels wrong to off a tree. Even if it's two inches tall.

Oh my. These hands are black with Illinois soil. I'm soaking up that Vitamin D in the sun. I'm thinking of Rane, and hoping perhaps a bright red bleeding heart will blossom to remind me of him.

Soul--it's all soul.

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