This time of year, I begin spending a good deal of time in the garden. A minor amount of winter clean-up calls for the attention that I have avoided during the colder weather.
For two months out of the year – mostly January and February – , I wear shoes – or at least socks – on my feet when I am outside, but now the barefoot days have begun again. The deck is warm, the steps are cool, and there is joy when I plant my feet outside, skin to ground. With my garden tools placed around the yard in cubbies here and there, I can putter whenever the spirit calls.
But there is a dilemma. I am not one to run and change my clothes when I begin a project. Neither am I one to overly-plan out my time in the flower beds. So if I put on my new purple soft sweater in the morning, it is likely to still be on in the afternoon when the weeds have called to me and I answer. My socks are already in ruin, having been abused all winter in short bursts around the yard. Do I have to allow the rest of my clothes to follow suit?
Truly, yard work is so easy here, that twenty minutes cures all the visible weeds wherever I am. But changing my clothes for a twenty-minute chore just doesn’t make sense. So, the purple sweater and new jeans, even if I meant to save them for that once-in-six-months trip to a nice-ish restaurant, become my garden clothes for that chore.
As do my pajamas if I start gardening too early.
Who changes clothes just to spend a glorious twenty minutes watering the hanging pots? No one. Or at least, not me. But then, after my watering done, I see the geraniums are hanging out the top of the bower vine, and the clematis needs its cold-weather-hardened leaves trimmed. It’s then that I wish I had changed my clothes, because the pollen stains and the bird of paradise drips and the sack of new compost reaches out to touch the new jeans.
They aren’t new jeans any longer, not after I’ve spent an hour in the garden. Let’s face it, at this time in my life all my clothes are garden clothes.