Monday, November 13, 2006

Is My Garden Contributing to the Culture of Consumption?

An interesting article in the Chron Home Section on a fellow named Dan Ho lead me to pose and ponder this interesting question. I'd hate to think my puttering around digging in the dirt of an18' x 20' plot is somehow linked to the disease somtimes called 'affluenza' that I am trying to vigilantly guard myself and my daughter against. But I also know there have been months that my husband has had to bite his tongue when reviewing our credit card statments, the garden expenditures far surpassing our food reciepts. Ho, after an epiphany brought on by a mysterious seizure, has shed the bulk of his considerable wordly posessions in pursuit of what appears to me to be release, bliss- or call it what you will--some form of domestic nirvana.

So I had to laugh with self-recognition when reading Ho recall his life before his 'awakening', "I once bought a $3,600 cedar tree," he said, "because, you know, I needed something for the corner to create a transition from the oak tree to the anemone because the sedum on the brick walk just wasn't going to cut it. People think like that, and I did." Ummm, people definitely think like that, just see the post from last Thursday on my newly-planted corner Brugmansia. What makes Ho's message so amusing is that he has engaged the current home and garden fanaticism sweeping the nation using what seems to me to be eastern priciples of Buddhist thought, all without appearing to be contradicting himself. Underneath it all seems to run a deep-seeded earnestness - he walked the walk way before he started talking the talk. You can't say that about your average Martha Stewart wanna-be.

So is my garden contributing to the culture of consumerism? Yes, and no. But the honest joy that it gives me and the hours of pleasure I derive while not spending a penny might just tip me over to Ho's side just a little. Now if I could only cultivate that sense of 'capriciousness' he so highly prizes, I'll be on my way to garden paradise.

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