Gardening for the Deaf; or, What I Did While Finding Out If I Will Hear Again
At 2:45 Saturday morning, I woke up; not an uncommon occurrance, as insomnia dogs me constantly now. But when I stumbled to the bathroom, I realized that the thing I'd feared most had happened: the vestigal hearing in my right hear was now gone. No amount of shouting into it can now penetrate it. I almost wish I could say that since then I've been in a profound silence; instead I hear a constant sound like rushing water or the wind in trees; punctuated by an indescribable sound, the closest thing to which I can describe as a dog barking, very very far away. The latter is most annoying.
I am not really ready right now to talk about what it feels like, because it doesn't feel very good at all. If I permit myself one comment, I'll note that profound deafness is not for the claustrophobic - literally.
Maybe I'll never have to describe it, but as detail in a tale with a different ending. Let's wait and see, shall we?
We did usual and unusual things on Saturday and Sunday; went to a Cultural Festival which I'd helped organize, went to the bookstore (having finished both The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, I picked up The Two Towers and The Return of the King; I expect I'll be finding a lot more time for reading in the coming weeks), went to the building supply store, on Sunday took the kitties for a walk in their, and our, beloved Odell Park; bought gardening supplies. I have been spending a lot of time in the garden in the last few days; it is very theraputic and something I can do very competently and peacefully in silence. I am growing snow peas, which are just going great guns, and scallions, which are not, in a tiny garden about one by two metres in a corner of the postage-stamp-sized yard; but my heart's delight is my flowers.
In my shady yard (in the heart of the old downtown core - which I would give up for nothing) - I don't have the pick of the blooming crop. I have a formal "Shade Garden" proper under the elm tree - its first residents were a birthday gift from my husband who saw my frustration with the large area under the tree where it seemed nothing thrived, researched shade gardens, and delivered a tray of appropriate and still-thriving plants. I add to it year by year, and love it best of all of all corners of my home. There I have abundant and overflowing perennials (which grow back on their own year after year): bleeding hearts; somewhat tentative foxglove (planted them just this year - they are growing but I do not think they'll bloom this year); astilbe; lily-of-the-valley and forget-me-not. In containers about the garden in areas that get more sun I have annuals; inexpensive "bedding plants" that live one year only; and these will do so shouting with joyful colour and much-appreciated in their containers in my yard: impatiens (several containers of pink and white and a couple of containers of "Voodoo Mix" which promise to grow in a loopy and hysterical mix of pinks, purples and oranges); geraniums (red and white); and red and white begonias. All these varieties I've found practically kill-proof in our Zone 4 (cold) garden which gets much shade and has clay-like soil.
As I continue to plan the perennial garden - planting things which I hope to be permanent in their place - I think I have found the proper spot for a Columbine; yellow, maybe (very few yellow flowers, it seems to me in my searching, are shade-tolerant, and I'd like more yellow in my garden). Hell, I think I'll get a couple, in different colours. Next to the gate to the backyard is my rosebush; a Hunter Rose, a birthday gift from my in-laws some years ago; like the other plants, tough as a son of a bitch, blooming from July to August with fat red blossoms and shooting out fierce new branches every year as it reaches for the sun. Toughest little bugger I ever saw; I am looking about for another to put on the other side of the walkway, at the other side of the gate. Anything that tough and lovely deserves a second go.
I am trying very hard to walk the line between staying optimistic and living my life in this silence and not appearing to be flippant or blithe. What I am NOT most of all, is resigned.