Friday, July 24, 2009

Farewell to My Spading Fork

Prying some brick-red daylilies out of the ground with my spading fork, the D-shaped handle breaks clean off the wooden shaft. My best gardening friend for the past 29 years--the one that has given me many an aching back as well as so much joy--that friend's spine is broken.

I take its mud-encrusted tines to Brown & Roberts--our locally-owned hardware store--and ask them to put on a new D-handle. The clerk shakes his head and compares prices: a new fork $22.98, a new wooden handle $15.98. I see him glancing at the bent tines, their metal polished to a dull gleam by grinding against numberless rocks. He pronounces the death of my good friend who has spent every spring standing near the vegetable garden, calling me to come out and play.

Everything i cherish will change and vanish is the fourth of the Five Daily Recollections. I place my cherished friend next to the trash bag that's going to vanish into the dumpster tomorrow.

Farewell, my dear.

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