Bernie's Birdship

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Church and the Garden

Finally some much needed rain after weeks of drought here in Chicago. I imagine my tiny community garden plot is happy to receive a midnight watering.

The pumpkin vine keeps reaching through the chainlink fence that backs the garden, and into the yard of a local community church. Each time I yank the vine (gently) back to the garden side, I feel kind of bad, like I’m stunting my pumpkin’s yearning for the Gospel or something. But if the fruit grows on that side of the fence, I forfeit ownership. My pumpkin could be consigned into a life of no drinking or dancing (I suspect the church is Baptist), eliminating my plans to grow it up on beer and wine and take it to parties.

A few weeks ago I was up early and hungover and went over to water the garden (second only to watching ducks for a hangover cure). A guy in the church building was blasting some inspirational gospel music through his open window, and I could see him straightening up his tie and singing out “Halleluya” and “Amen!” along to the music as he got ready to deliver a sermon in the backyard tent.

Every time I’m watering and there’s a sermon going on, its always like 3 people on folding chairs and a bunch of ROBINS and HOUSE SPARROWS in the tent. Perhaps I should let my pumpkin run free- if it grows to be 200 pounds like its supposed to, it could make up 25 percent of an average church tent audience (maybe more).

Its going to be really heart-breaking when it gets eaten by a jillion mutant rat-tailed squirrels before it even makes it to its 30 pound adolescence….


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