GARDEN DATE: 7-1-2012
Sometimes fate hands you the answer in life, writing and gardening. My dilemma between the bench and the branch resolved itself with no action on my part. Except the action of sitting on the bench one early morning last week. Before I could lean back, I felt the shift as the back railing of the bench fell off landing in the hostas behind it.
My garden, like my writing, is a work in progress in which I thrill in reusing, recycling and repurposing everything I can. At first I thought the back railing would be fuel for the fall bonfire but now I see a wonderful opportunity to position the entire thing, spindles down, in front of a flopsy stand of yarrow. I could spray paint the wood with one of those faux stone looking treatments and set it up as a small stone fence. The bench now functions as a sturdy platform for several potted plants. And, the long narrow piece of wood that held the spindle to the bench back will be perfect for staking something tall or tired.
This morning, I’m roaming the garden, cutting flowers for a bouquet and enjoying the cooler morning temps. I’m hoping to spot the hot air balloons from the ‘Eyes to the Skies’ Festival. I heard the tell-tale blast as the burner is turned on but I haven’t seen any balloons. They may be farther away than they sound indicates.
I’ve left my Sisters in Crime mug on another bench but now I return to it, ready to enjoy my coffee. This bench has a sturdy back but the seat slats had rotted away at the bolts. I repurposed two old, long benches from a picnic set, using one as a new seat and one to keep my feet out of mud and dirt.
I’m watching goldfinches, two males and a female, flit through the flowers. They seem partial to larkspur. It’s barely 6:30 and the air is turning muggy. I realize this bench has a wonderful view of the garden. Don’t know why I never thought to sit here. It is steps from the garage and in the spring, the area is bare. Now however, with coneflowers, larkspur, marguerite daisies and Russian sage all about me, it’s a veritable hideaway. I love the feeling of being surrounded by garden.
It’s the same sense I get when I change the perspective of your story. When suddenly you think to yourself, “Why haven’t I ever put them in that situation?” or “Why haven’t I told the story from this point of view?” Just changing the setting, changes the feel of the story. It’s the difference between looking over the landscape of the plot and seeing the conclusion down at the end of the garden path to sitting inside the plot and wheedling your way to the end of the path.
I’m already rethinking a plot line that’s been giving me ‘starts and stops’ for a while. Amazing, I’ve moved my butt to another bench and my brain is re-tuning. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Anyway, I’m off to move some 'potted plants' in the current plot to another location in the story.
Hope this bench lasts long enough to finish the book!