Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Buried not dead

Despite the fact that the high today will be minus 15 degrees and anything even remotely related to the living growing earth seems hopelessly dead, I am reading The Gardener’s Year by Karel Capek. Perhaps I read about gardening in winter because of that very paradox – the paradox of life – that is rooted in resurrection and all that God is to us.

Capek writes: “The existence of gardeners who every year, in spite of these bad experiences with the weather, welcome and unveil the spring is therefore a testimony of the imperishable and miraculous optimism of the human race.” I was tucked up in bed, reading, and planning to slowly drift off with visions of crocus (pl. croci?) spronging through the earth, lilac buds swollen ready burst shock green, maples giving off their burgundy springtime haze before they dump tons of fuzzy flowers into our rain gutters and sidewalks when I heard a strange sound. Like a mouse-sized machine gun, ta-rrrrrp. Rrrrr-rrrr. Then it dawned; ripping fabric? Denis looked defensive and guilty. I heard it again and whipped back the covers to hear an extended salvo of tearing sheets caught on his wrist.

WHAT are you doing? I asked with every intention of blame, wondering how he could have done this since we’ve only had these particular sheets for maybe 18 months. True, I wash the same ones week after week and put them back on the bed month after month, and okay, maybe I do bleach them a little once in awhile, and also hang them in the sun so the infrared rays can weaken the fibers, but still. How could the top hem be so rotten he finally ripped the whole thing off and how was I supposed to sleep with frayed threads tickling my nose and stray bits getting caught in my teeth? So I tested the strength of the fabric a little farther down and easily poked my finger through. Denis tried it and easily made two more holes. I remember I bought those sheets at Penney’s and they claimed a 350 thread count. Cheez. How many threads do we need? For years I slept on about two threads per inch. Now I don’t know. Does every single thing we buy these days have to have built in obsolescence? We owned the last set for four years. Well, not exactly the very last. That was one Denis talked me into buying. Why would I trust him? He’s a little color-blind. Really, he is. No surprise they were the wrong color. I said so at the time. And then, I caved. A kind of rotten yellow-brown. Probably Burnt Custard or Golden Landfill. I couldn’t sleep in them. Every day they made me uncomfortable and even in the dark I knew I was sleeping in the wrong color. So I ended up giving them to our youngest daughter who likes them and probably calls them Soft Pumpkin or Amber Waves. I felt flawed and extravagant for getting, even though they were on sale, a new set.

At least one good thing can be said about the present economy, all the retail stores are practically paying us to buy their stuff. So I flung aside my schedule and went out to find a new set of queen sheets. I found one, really cheap. A good, peaceful color. I can sleep soundly in Marina Bay Green. And even though they are the texture of tent canvas, they blend with the Harvest Moon color of our bedroom walls … and I am dreaming of springtime, wrapped in sheets of leaves eagerly waiting.

1 comment:

jenni said...

I wash the same light blue (forgot the poetic name) sheets over and over, too, so I was thrilled when my Aunt gave us a new set of organic brown-ish sheets for Christmas. We'll see if organic holds up around here.