Outdoor Writers Association of America
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

May 1st, 2000


I spent a little time working in my garden today. The sun was warm, the dirt was warm, it was really nice. I planted a couple of things, weeded a bit and generally was pleased with making a little progress.

Our garden has bits and pieces of places we have fished. There are wild violets, forget-me-not, trillium, glacier lilies, jack-in-the-pulpit, not taken from the wild, but things I purposely planted as reminders of special places. There is a path from pea-gravel, one of moss, a really ancient huge moss-covered log, native ferns and bracken, and a rugosa rose which I planted. . . it is the closest one I could find to match the wild roses which bloom long the Yellowstone River in July. My little managed woods smells intently of cedar on warm days.

Around the little pond are some small rocks I've brought back from fishing trips too. I knew I wouldn't remember where each came from, so I wrote the place and date on the bottom with a felt marker.

If I can't be fishing, I still have a little of those places right here.

There is some of the same connection gardening as I have with fly fishing. There may be a little more hope involved with the gardening, it takes a while for the things we plant to grow and bloom, but nevertheless, the connection with the earth in gardening, or the water in fishing is an important connection.

Too much of our lives are spent in making a living, taking care of family, meeting the everyday obligations of life. We desperately need a connection with the "real" world. Something which lets us know we are real people, not just cogs in the machinery.

Personally I don't have the passion for gardening I have for fishing - but it sure beats whatever else might be available.

The connection is probably about faith and hope. Whatever it is it helps me maintain some sanity and I'm grateful. ~ LadyFisher

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