I’m standing outside in the backyard watering the herb garden with a spray nozzle on the hose. I know. It’s not the most effective way of watering. Master gardeners advise drip irrigation, and my husband touts the benefit of a gentle sprinkler, but I prefer the meditative gift of standing with a hose. Watering and ruminating.
The chives are in full bloom. Violet balls atop long green spikes, they are the prettiest they will look this year. I grow them specifically for this gift. They are alive with bees—another reason to grow them and allow them to flower—and take my attention from the first tiny chamomile flower and the budding bergamot.
I watch as bees flit from flower to flower, almost as if one living organism. Then something different catches my eye.
A bee—still and upside down—on the bottom side of a chive flower. I lean in closer. It’s caught in the grasp of a white long-legged spider. It’s all but done for, but it continues to struggle. I set the hose down and watch for a time. I would have never seen such a thing had I relied on drip irrigation or a sprinkler.
I pick up the hose and adjust the spray toward the lemon balm and chocolate mint. My eyes return to the chive blossoms where life and death work together as one. There’s something to ponder there. And I continue to water my little herb garden and do just that.