The Haven: The Middle

“An inability to stay quiet …
is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.”

– Walter Bagehot, 1826-1877

I agree with British journalist, businessman and essayist Walter Bagehot who said that the inability to stay quiet is a failing of mankind. We humans seem unable, or unwilling, to leave our radios, televisions, Internet, cell phones and smartphones, to name just a few, to spend some quiet time with ourselves, to think about life, to reason, to define and to plan our lives. Such a place should not be that difficult to find, if we really want to look. (Ah, but that thought is for another time.)

Well, I need quiet time in order to deal with the “stuff” of life and my favorite quiet-time place is out-of-doors, surrounded by trees, birds, squirrels – things of nature – thus, my dream of The Haven.

My initial plan called for a garden surrounded by flowers and plants and featured, what else but a swing, where I pictured myself swinging afternoon hours away while I solved the ills of the world. Unfortunately poor soil and too many close-to-the-surface large tree roots dashed that plan; however, I am most willing to forgo the garden in favor of the roots because vegetable stands and farmers’ markets are readily available while trees are not, and so, Plan II was born.

An aside: My small backyard had been neglected for a few years before I moved in. Being on a decline, rain water washed the top soil away and left only something akin to dirt but a few steps below it, I think. There was no grass, only strange greenish colored weeds and even they were not flourishing. Being a neophyte, though, I spent my first two summers trying to grow grass in that poor soil but at the end of last summer, accepted the fact that grass was not to grow unless top soil was added (remember, I am a neophyte – it took me awhile to accept the obvious) and in the fall of last year, top soil was added, gently spread over the yard, and we all bedded down for the winter.


Back yard before top soil.

Ransom helping clean up the yard.

The month of March was rather mild so I was able to begin serious branch picking up, weed pulling and general raking so that by the middle of May, my yard had a nice, smooth rich black look to it. I’ll tell you, folks, looking at my small plot of land and seeing that the few hostas I previously planted were thriving, was a thrill and I realized that my dream of The Haven just might come true.

Hostas, beautiful hostas.

Till next time … 

Published on May 28, 2015

Grit Magazine

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