Last night, I planted some basil and did some much-needed weeding in our little vegetable patch. Solitary activities like gardening would probably be excellent for things like introspection or musing over the more mysterious intricacies of the Bible, but somehow my brain never quite makes it there.
I instead find myself threatening my basil: "According to the packet, you have a germination period of 7-14 days, so if I don't see some kind of growth in the next week or two, you will be dead to me. Hahaha, get it, Basil? You'll be dead to me. And probably just dead in general."
Or I'm talking to the carrot seeds still lying useless somewhere under the dirt: "What's the deal, Carrots? I did everything I'm supposed to do, and I get nothing from you. You couldn't give me one measly root vegetable. No, I'm not angry. Just disappointed. And Tomatoes, don't even think you can be all lazy like Carrot, here- I've got big plans for you. And don't listen to those rumors Cilantro has been spreading- I wouldn't dream of throwing you in the food processor and serving you on deliciously salty tortilla chips! I'm hurt you even had to ask."
Every once in a while movement will catch the corner of my eye, and I'll see our neighbor sitting on his back deck, which is close enough to our garden that I'm pretty sure he can hear everything I've been saying. Because of course I haven't been thinking these things in my head or even whispering them under my breath; no, I speak to all of our plants in my normal voice and at a normal volume. Not helping matters any are the mosquitoes that come out at twilight. I know he can't see those from his distance, so my violent slaps to my arms and face must look a little strange, along with the crazy headbanging I do when I convince myself there's a bug crawling in my hair.
Sometimes I wonder if that neighbor gets together with our other neighbor down the street to compare notes. While that first neighbor gets to hear me talk to my vegetables in the backyard, the other one is the older gentleman who often walks his dog down our sidewalk, and always seems to be walking by when I'm yelling at ice and snow, or when I've just been pruning our rosebushes and grab a fistful of thorns, prompting me to yell, "CrikeyCrikeyCrikey! FIDDLESTICKS!"
That's right. I curse like an 80-year-old Australian. While this neighbor wasn't in the navy, he was in a different branch of the armed forces, so I highly doubt he's offended by anything I say.
Now I'm going to go take advantage of this beautiful weather by harvesting some rhubarb, being sure to ask it not to scream before I cut down its thick stalks.
But first I think I'll make sure my neighbor's inside.