Monday, February 28, 2011

Raking Dead Leaves

Yesterday, I felt the coming of spring. The air was warm and breezy, thunder rumbled in the distance, frogs croaked near the pond, and dead leaves blanketing my garden beckoned to be raked.

I gathered my gardening gloves, rake and wheelbarrow, feeling the vigor of the first garden foray of spring. That lasted until about the second wheelbarrow dump of the wet, slimy leaves.

Oh, my aching back. My sore knees. The blisters on my hands. And this was only the first of many gardens to clean!

Then, I saw them. Tiny, yellow-green sprouts of daffodils, Stella d'Oro day lilies, loriope, creeping phlox, and a dozen other perennial flowers. As I gently raked the dead remnants of winter away from each plant with my fingers, I could almost hear them take a deep breath of fresh air.

Funny, it brought to mind the editing I'd been sludging through on Broken Dolls over the last several weeks. Cleaning out the dead leaves - pieces of the story that had served a purpose once, but now choked parts of the story that needed to be uncovered. Pulling weeds - unnecessary words that cluttered. Even digging up and replanting - rearranging pieces here and there to make the whole novel better. Like cleaning out my garden, it was sometimes unpleasant, but necessary work.

Now, the garden is clean. My little sprouts can breathe and enjoy the sunlight. Soon, they will burst forth in color for others to enjoy. I can't help but continue my simile thoughts, that one day soon, as with my garden, so goes my book.


  1. Jan,
    I can tell that your garden will be glorious--the law of sowing and reaping! What a beautiful simile, I loved the way you expressed it.

    Good luck with your garden AND your book!

  2. @Palooski65, thank you for your very sweet words!