by Rheasq

Recently, I’ve experienced a lot of firsts. First historic home, first greenhouse, and now first time pond person. Not a “real” pond by any stretch, but certainly eye opening and educational.

The spot I chose for the pond is in the far south east corner of “dog patch”, behind the privacy fence. This area dovetailed into the new planting bed, but was a DMZ between us and them, the terrible terriers. Having been fortified and stockpiled against incursion, it seemed a likely place to dig a pond. Didn’t it?

Inspired by a pond liner and pump “found” in the attic of the church. It had been there 20 – 25 years, since its previous iteration had flooded the historic sanctuary. Exuant all. Enter me, the scavenging gardener……

Seriously hard work, digging, calculating trying to get it to work. I SWEAR, the bigger and deeper I dug, that liner expanded to exceed. But about two weeks ago, I realized I was digging in the leach field of the prior home on this lot. My home having always occupied two lots, at some point had expanded to incorporate a third lot that had previously held a home. Someone’s home; someone’s dream, from the late 1800s.

Now I was in its leach field. For those not aware, before sanitary sewers, homes and even outhouses ran tile into their “yards” to pass human waste underground to be absorbed, a leach field. On a tenth of an acre no less.

I had done quite a bit of digging before I realized my gloves had been compromised. Fingertips, generally of the dominant hand, my right now had holes in them. Now, there was sediment ingrained underneath my fingernails and in my skin. As I pondered this, I thought of the passing of ages where cholera, Spanish flu and tuberculosis had been rampant. And its passing through into this leach field. This spot would have absorbed all the sedimentary DNA of its time, as its occupants passed it through, to now.

Gave me pause. Yes, most definitely there was an exposure risk. But more importantly started the wheels turning. What other ways are the particles of the environment absorbed? As a cook, there were quick answers: mushrooms, eggplant, rice all take on the milieu in with they are cooked, most deliciously.

Gardener answers: there are plants whose output are dictated by relatives nearby, irises , columbines and hibiscus, whose blooms change to be all of an accord.

Painters, sculptors, poets all exist in an influential environment.

Leading me to here. Now. What is the flavor of the sauce in which I simmer? In which YOU simmer? Are you absorbing a caustic chemistry of other ages or are there different flavor profiles tantalizing its host to explore. As for me, though I love antiques, give me a new flavor profile any day!