Saturday, November 19, 2005


I spent the afternoon in a faculty member's garden. She lives on the west side of San Francisco, in a nice, funky, walkable neighborhood that's really easy to get to via BART and Muni. (I love this area--they know how to do public transit. Since I've been here, I've really only driven to see friends in the Central Valley. At home, I drove everywhere.)

We uprooted irises and daylilies to move later, and she turned me loose on a bed that was populated only by weeds. I couldn't pull up a wrong thing. I took my sandals off and dove barefoot into the biggest sandbox I've ever played in. Her soil was sand, once upon a time; they've put lots of amendments into it, in 15 years of living there. Everything's organic. The soil at home is clay, hard to work with, and sticks to you. This was a completely new sensory experience. Meditative and playful. I love gardening barefoot; it's so much more grounding than feeling the earth with just your hands. I crawled around, pulling weeds, feeling ever more exuberantly rooted. I've missed that feeling so much; I really hadn't touched soil since June, when I babysat my godmother's garden. We talked, off and on, about churches, family holiday traditions, random whatever. And were companionably silent in between.

She said I couldn't go home on BART looking like I had just played in a sandbox, so she offered me a shower. I was getting sore and tired, and the water felt wonderful. Then I walked back to the tunnel, and took the trains home. I stopped at the gelato place by the Berkeley station, and walked up the hill as the sun was setting, eating pumpkin ice cream. Yum.

I wore shorts and a T-shirt. On the 19th of November. The city gets colder than Berkeley, being on the ocean, but it was in the 70s. I keep hearing that the rain's about to start, and honestly I miss it and would welcome it. But today's weather was joyfully perfect.

Am housesitting this week for one of my teachers and his wife. That means I get to take a bath. Goodnight.

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