Well, I got frustrated with everything for a couple of days, then angry at myself for not progressing. I decided to simply Do Something each day. I can walk, if nothing else. I went out and we walked a brisk 3.25 mile loop. The next day, we were to take a bike ride. We each had our own idea of what that would entail and didn’t share with each other; consequently, when we went out to ride, one wanted to go one way, one another.
We started out for town, both of us believing we’d do the same six mile ride as before, but the day was nice enough that I got ambitious and made a turn without asking. We were going to come home down a circuit we hadn’t ridden before, I decided. I get tired of the same scenery. And it was fun, until the third giant hill in a row.
See, I don’t like to shift gears, in life or on the bike, apparently. I get into one, find it comfortable, and just keep pushing until I die. I should stop right now and soak in this larger lesson. I made the top of that third hill, but at a cost. I had to stop, exhausted, unable to breathe, my stomach feeling like I’d been kicked repeatedly with very heavy boots. Then came the waves of nausea, followed by the complete draining of every ounce of energy I had. The farm dogs there didn’t know what to do about the dying stranger.
I truly wasn’t sure I’d make it home on the bike. At one point, the wind was blowing like crazy. I’d been protected by the hill I was putting every bit of my remaining effort into and then it hit me and nearly drove me backwards. After that, I couldn’t even sit up any longer. With two miles to go, I was sure I’d be walking the bike home at the next big hill. My legs felt like they didn’t have it in them.
But I made it. Ten miles. Thanks to my partner, who talked me into a better gear and made it possible for me to continue on. We had fun along the way, seeing some new plants, exploring a little graveyard, and always looking ahead for this weird farm we were just a bit too far down the road to see.
I rode into the driveway and collapsed, sprawled on my front lawn. Then we did some gardening. I wouldn’t normally have volunteered for this, but the green was coming out on the onion sets and the guilt was overwhelming. I talked my partner into using the garden area for planting. Why he insists on trying to plant everywhere else is something only he understands.
Thankfully, there was a space inside where we dug sweet potatoes last season and the dirt was still loose, so it took very little time. Except then we went around doing stage two of the new planting experiment: gathering sticks to fill the pit we dug last week.
There is a Japanese farmer who successfully used this method to break up his soil, to improve it and the plants he grew. He dug down, removing the dirt for a foot or so, then filled the ditch with large sticks and chunks of wood. We have plenty dropping from the big, old trees here. The next phase involves covering those with a layer of dirt, then leaves. I was very glad to hear we weren’t doing more that day, because I was done in.
More of the plantlings are up now, even a pepper has peeked its head from the peat pots. The squash are trying to grow off the table, so the last frost better come soon.