Column, Living the Dream

One hundred feet uncoiled

By Merisa Sherman

I sigh as I stare at the pile of green loops. One after the other, they are stacked on top of each other; well, as organized as a pile of loops can possibly be. I reach for the one exposed end and start walking away. I could do the hand over hand thing, like with climbing rope, but then I just end up with a flaked out pile that still doesn’t cooperate. And so I walk away.

The weight of the hose isn’t that heavy, it’s just awkward. They advertise how it’s the non-kinking type of hose but you know you cannot believe them. There is always a kink somewhere. So, I grab the end and start walking away until I feel that big jerk feeling that pulls me backwards. Yep. Found the knot.

It would be nice if I could just walk straight out, mindlessly attaching the fancy multi-style spray nozzle and focusing on my plants. But no. I have to come back because one of the loops has somehow crisscrossed another loop and they don’t feel like cooperating and untwisting on their own. I’ve been jerked backward and tugged a few more times, probably making the knot worse but not wanting to walk all the way back to the coil stack.

Can someone please explain to me how I can so diligently flake all the loops on top of each other when putting the hose away only to have it knot up every time I go to use the hose? There has to be some kind of weird alternate universe type of force that just creates knots in hoses. Some “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” kind of thing.

I finally get the knot undone, weaving loops through loops like I’m tearing apart one of my grandmother’s crotchet blankets. I can see the hose is happier now and I’m guessing that it might actually feel like cooperating at this time. This time I walk away more cautiously, eyeing the coil stack closely so I don’t yank too hard this time.

One hundred feet. That is how long both hoses are when attached together. And it still doesn’t make it to the outer reaches of my perennial gardens. But I lay the hose out beautifully, a green stripe laid down along the driveway toward the front entrance of the property. It looks beautiful, waiting to provide nutrients to all my beloved perennials since Mother Nature hasn’t this year.

One hundred feet. I walk back to the nozzle attached to the house and turn the water on. I love to watch the hose jerk to life, like a snake vomiting, as the water makes its way down the hose. You can see it wiggling as the water shimmies down the way. It’s always been something I’ve found funny, since I was a little kid tasked with watering my dad’s garden. Silly hose.

One hundred feet. Then I walk back to the spray nozzle to release the beast. The hose is heavy now, filled with water and ready to launch itself onto my plants. But I have this fancy adjustable nozzle, I can chose to either attack my plants or not. Which of course, I don’t. Except maybe for all the de-leafed hostas the rabbits have provided me with. I could probably just use the jet on those.

But I don’t. I switch the spray to shower and begin the long Zen experience of waving my arm side to side, serving as a human sprinkler to my plants. Back and forth, my arm waves while I hold down the sprayer in my grip. There is nothing to rush here, no way of making this go faster without harming the plants or giving them less water than they deserve. And so, I stand here at the end of this planting area and then over here, at the end of this other planting area.

But this time is peaceful. My breath begins to match the waving of the hose and I become linked to the entire process. My plants need my breath, just as much as they need the water, and I begin to sing a little song. Quietly at first, so that even I don’t realize that I’m singing along to the water. And then louder, so that perhaps now the plants can hear my song. Over and over again, I sing the song that I’ve made up that day and I think the plants are happier knowing that they are loved.

But I am also really happy that it rained last night. As much as I love my plants, I cannot be standing out there for an hour a day, waving my arm around. Oh well, anyone have perennials they want to trade?

Merisa Sherman is a long-time Killington resident. You can follow her adventures on social media @FemaleSkiBum.

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