We weeded the garden yesterday after more or less neglecting it since it was planted. The weeds had grown so tall I could hardly distinguish them from the young vegetables (I exaggerate, husband).
I like weeding. It has a soothing quality, similar to finishing the laundry, folding it and putting it away (I do not exaggerate, husband—try it!). A task completed, chaos held at bay, one little corner of the world returned to order.
But not only does weeding benefit the plants by virtue of reducing competition for nutrients, it provides aesthetic nourishment for surrounding humans. Beauty consorts with production.
As we finished clearing one section and started moving to the next, a robin appeared and sat on the concrete that wraps the plot. My husband said, “Wait—he’ll start going for the worms and insects in the soil. They do that when I’m tilling, too.”
Sure enough, Mr. Robin eyed us for a few moments to reassure himself that we were fully occupied with our own task, then hopped onto the soil and began pecking at bugs. Within minutes a second robin appeared. As we worked our way from one end of the garden to the other, the birds continued kissing the soil, gaining comfort and moving closer to us. Familiarity bred fearlessness.
By the time we finished weeding, swept up the dirt, and put away the tools, the birds had a beautifully set table upon which to feast. Bon appétit!
(Incidentally, I have to admit I have no idea if the robins were he’s or she’s or one of each. Apparently, the male of the species has a brighter orange breast and a blacker head, while the female has a duller orange breast and greyer head. Want to learn more? Try this article. I’ll report back if I’m able to distinguish robin sexes next time I’m feeding them dinner. :-))