Gardener on Errands

Today I was that loose woman who gardens anywhere she feels like it.

I missed my bus this morning and walked, just under two miles, to the post office in downtown St. Paul. Lovely day for a stroll and no where special to be at any particular time, so why not.

Weed.My surreptitious weeding started in some porch boxes along Kellogg, in Lowertown. I have this thing about spikey weeds like thistle, nettle, and prickly lettuce. I like to pull them up. It might come from my love of walking barefoot, or it could be that small yet delicious feeling of triumph as my fingertips find that one smooth spot near the base of the stem from where to yank.

Either way, there they were. Wafting in the gentle breeze amongst their other, less antagonistic, chums. And, there I was. Eager to pluck. I paused at the first one, my fingers squeezing its little stem, ‘what if someone is growing these, like, intentionally?’

Pah! I popped up that prickly, little shoot roots and all, and laid it right next to its former mooring. As I made my way along, I left a modest trail of spikey green bodies in their troughs of dirt.

That’s how I happened to run into a couple of fellows who were off work and enjoying the sun. We chatted about working and not working, about the nice weather and the various fun things you can do in it. After a short bit, we said our good-byes and I made my way to the post office.

HostaFor my second stop, in Minneapolis, I walked to the train. On my way, I pulled a few more thistle-y sprouts from some large pots of hostas. Did the same thing in downtown Minneapolis when I got off the train. I let myself have fun with it, just something between me and the urns of captive dirt. All about me, office workers on lunch walked swiftly by. I wondered what I must look like to them, if they noticed me at all.

Funny thing happened on the way home. I’d just hopped off the return train and I heard someone call my attention. There, sitting several blocks from where I’d met him, with his uniform exchanged for a nice suit, was one of the fellows with whom I’d chatted earlier. Grinning from ear to ear, he said the day was so lovely he just couldn’t get enough of it.

Yeah, me either.

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