Saturday, September 11, 2010

To Garden or not to Garden? That is our question.

I wonder if young girls realize what they can look forward to as middle aged women?  I used to observe my mother and think to myself,  "I'll never have that problem.  I'll never dress that way.  I'll never go out of the house without make-up."

Never say "never"

Then the decades pass and you step on the proverbial rake and it hits you upside the head - you are now a middle aged "Mom" and everything you thought would never come to pass has arrived with a lot of luggage and it seems intent on staying, for a long time.

Do you see youth or a senior citizen?

The first thing to go which wasn't that big a problem for me were cute shoes, my dogs were starting to bark, correction, whimper, if I put on anything with a heel any higher than a pack of gum (Juicy Fruit 15 sticks).  So pair by pair I brought athletic shoes into my closet and escorted the heels and pretty shoes up to their high rise apartment in the closet. (Are you humming the theme song to the Jefferson's yet?)

Then, without heels and pretty shoes, dresses and slacks just didn't look right, so they were segregated to the back wall of the closet to allow for the arrival of t-shirts and elastic waist pants.  Who wants to be constricted by buttons and zippers and snaps; OH MY! (Did you just flash to the scene in Wizard of Oz, I know you did).

Then I had no idea that as you age, like it or not, Gardening becomes a part of your daily routine.  I for one have never had an appreciation for the hobby, as dirt and worms and what not have never appealed to my sense of cleanliness.  The first time I realized I was a true Gardener, was when it became apparent I was tending to my own personal Zen Garden.

Zen gardens are minimalist creations in which raked sand and a few well-placed stones are the primary features, so one day as I applied my eye shadow I realized that the tender skin of my upper eye lid was obediently following the direction of the sponge applicator and staying where ever the pressure was last  applied.  Fascinating,  curiosity forced me to try it on the other eye, and like the sands of Zen, my lids would ebb and flow like obedient puppies wanting to please their master.  I thought the dark shadows beneath my eyes and the small cyst like bumps which erupted there in stealth silence one day in the last year of my 3rd decade served well as the random stones one observes in their Zen Garden.

My current make-up kit.

But the Asian version of  tending a garden is not my only concern, I have found that regular trimming or shall we say weed whacking is now  a necessary part of the daily routine as well.  I can truly relate to the beloved childhood fable of my youth when one of the trio of Porcine announce "Not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin!"  I never realized the profound impact those words would have on my own journey through life, like the groundhog seeing it's shadow, I can not leave the home if there is any hint of old lady stubble.

Speaking of hair, why is the hair on my head so weak and sparse, like a patch of  lawn decaying in shade?  It is also interesting that the hairs on one's face are so prolific and superior in strength to the poor strands struggling to survive on the scalp .

Let's not forget the use of chemicals when one is a gardener, weather you favor man made or natural sources the control of  weeds and non-native invaders must be dealt with. To these unwelcome aliens who arrive in the form of dark spots, red dots, broken blood vessels, wrinkles et al.  I must ponder why does the face take it the hardest, it gets through life relatively easy compared to other parts of the anatomy. 

I can understand why feet get ugly, you are pounding them daily into concrete and shoving them into all manner of footwear.  They are forced to sweat it out in socks and shoes, while the rest of the body is allowed freedom of movement and air circulation.  They rarely get any of the attention the face warrants, such as lotions and creams and massages, and injecting of plumpers and fillers.

Yet it is the face, which we use to judge a person by,  if they had a hard or easy life, if they are graceful or bitter.   So we all tend the garden of our face, we will trim (tweeze),  water regularly (moisturize), scalp for winter (chemical peel) and transplant (shift eyelids into proper position) and try to show the world, with pride our special garden, when this gets too much to bare, there is always astro-turf (plastic surgery).

My children look at my face, study the various flaws and concernedly alert me  I have "boo-boos".

Getting the once over from younger eyes.

This post is just a random observation brought to you by a resistant gardener who is literally transforming into her mother ~ the whole circle of life thing is a real pain in the grass.