There remain poppies, lilacs, tree peonies. Those do not seem to please Bambi and family as much as hosta, creeping phlox, and day lilies. The Turkish tulips are gone along with lily of the valley. Those made up a feast for the resident voles, whom the cat Ha Motzie pursues almost incessantly and whose sad little remains she brings to my doorstep. The garden is a battlefield and slugs make up the latest wave of insurgents. What am I to do, pledged as I am, not to use pesticides or any sort of chemical ides? Should I try diplomacy? Would Ban Ki Moon mediate a parley with these creatures bent on destroying my less than perfect paraideza?
My garden is not my castle. The constitution does not guarantee my right to hosta. I could poison the heck out of this little space where I try to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables. I am fairly certain that poisoning gardens is every Americans constitutional right. That poses a bit of a problem for those of us in Macondo by the Potomac. Our geology is one that makes it possible for the great limestone Swiss cheese that lies beneath our houses to leach poison from the soil and send it into our water supply, so tells me my friend Bob who knows what is what about geology and clean water.
Why struggle to garden organically when the municipality creates environmental havoc with the little park across the street? This is a question I repeat along with my plaintive refrain about the frequent violations of my community’s right to quiet. I think it all comes down to personal responsibilty. I cannot control what the Town Hall does, though the mayor and Town Council are said to represent my neighbours and me. All I can do is take care of this little piece of land as well as I can. That means that I have to make peace with the fact deer eat hosta and voles eat most bulbs–daffodils are an exception. As for other environmental problems, maybe I should tend my garden and ignore everything else. Who needs the tsuris of dealing with politicians, academics and all the big folk who run little Macondo? Why not stop worrying about anything besides deer and voles? Ah, that is the big question every citizen must ask herself. Does anyone need to challenge authority when authority clearly neglects the welfare of the community it represents? I don’t really know. All I know is that it is an exhausting business. If it did not sound so pompous, I would say that it is a Sisiphean struggle. The good thing is that if enough of us put our shoulders to the boulder we might stop it from rolling back. Hope springs eternal, no?