Once again I got my ass kicked. The squirrels won, the sun won, the lack of rain won, my garden is dead.
Each year, in the cool and wet months of April and May I am optimistic. I plant fresh young tomatoes, squash, lettuce, peppers and assorted herbs. I sit on my bucket, surveying my handy work with a cold beer in my hand and think, this is the year, this is the year I out-smart the squirrels and mother nature. I will be attentive and water regularly, I will net the tomatoes, pull the weeds, speak kindly and gently to these plants encouraging growth and a bounty to harvest.
And then July hits, and the afternoon sun bakes and cripples. Temperatures soar to 95 degrees. The rain ends, for days and weeks. My memory begins to fade, did I water last night? I am sure I did it, oh it feels so nice inside. Cold beer turns lukewarm the minute I step outside, mosquitos swarm and drain pints of blood. My bicycle calls, ride me, ride me, there are two hours of daylight left. You can buy tomatoes at the farmers market, give-up, have fun, accept that you have been defeated once again and pedal on.
In October when the weather cools and the days shorten I will survey the destruction. I will pull and chop the brown plants up for compost. I will take the stakes up and stack them neatly in the corner. I will turn the soil so that the rain can penetrate the baked brown asphalt and I will plan and dream, next year will be the year.