Sunday, June 27, 2010

Petunia Purslane Salad

Thanks to the late night thunderstorms we’ve been having, I spent several hours weeding my flower garden. I didn’t plan to spend that long, but I have been neglecting it due to recent foot surgery, so there was no shortage of material to work with. I am glad to be getting back to normal activity, but my excitement at how those weeds were coming out so easily with beautifully intact roots is probably a little extreme. Thanks mom and dad, you did it to me. All those summers of being forced to weed the half-acre we casually called a “garden”, I am now officially obsessed with the art of weed extraction.

But this wet weather is great for a perfectionist weeder, so I spent an afternoon pulling purslane, small and large, with passionate satisfaction at seeing all those lovely roots coming right out, no digging required. There was nothing to stop me—the kids were playing in the kiddie pool without too much violence, it was a windy day, not too hot and not a mosquito in sight. Just me and the weeds and deep thoughts about how I should get up early every morning to weed and meditate, as a rejuvenating summertime ritual. Of course I don’t know much about meditation, but I think you’re supposed to clear your mind, which is impossible for me to do. So my meditation went like this: The petunias look great this year. I’m sure it’s because I’ve diligently trained the children to run out into the yard with their best monster screams whenever any type of wildlife sets nose, paw or wing into the garden. It’s so cute the way they shout “Don’t eat mommy’s flowers! Raarrrgh! Bad Bunny!”

Afterwards, I was pretty proud of my weed free garden. Unfortunately my obsession had a few unintended consequences. I didn’t get dinner made—despite having harvested several piles of purslane (yes, it is edible, and no, I’ve never tried it, haven’t ever been that hungry, thank you Lord.) I got sunburn on my lower back, which was exposed because I’m still unable to crouch (see foot surgery). So instead I had to crawl around the perimeter of the garden, stretching to cover as much territory as possible, much like a dying person crawling through the desert croaking “water”. Or possibly a zombie emerging from the grave craving brains. (“Weeds, I must have more weeds.”) Got the picture? Attractive, right? My tan line’s going to be pretty hot, too.

Later that evening, after shoving together some leftovers and pretending it was my plan for dinner all along, I was cleaning up and glanced out the window to see a rabbit munching on the petunias. I’m not good at reading rabbit expressions, so I’m not sure if he was pissed off that all that edible purslane was gone, or if he was just happy someone cleared the way to the flowers. I meditated on that for a second and decided that throwing shoes at rabbits will be my rejuvenating summertime ritual.

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