I loved this hoe. Loved it. It companioned me through many long, hot summer gardens. Through early spring and late autumn gardens as well–a go-to companion. Together we could dig-chop-weed-hill-cut anything. And Sunday it broke. I heard the first tell-tale creak of wood giving way and tried to ignore it. But with the next chop into the bed I was breaking up, the neck broke. And I was stunned. Too stunned to continue working. And so I reflected.
This was my mother’s hoe. She treasured it beyond the beyond. But somehow it ended up with me after an afternoon of working in her hosta bed. This happens. Unintentionally. I seem to have the uncanny knack of walking off with things. Lighters when I smoked. Pens. Pencils. Scissors. People who know me know it’s simply a thing I do without malice, forethought or intent. I’d like to say she gave it to me with her blessing. Asked me to “go forth” and do good work. But that’s not the case. Simply put, I don’t know HOW it came to be with me.
But I acknowledged my mother every time I used it Must have said a hundred times to numerous different people, “This was my mother’s hoe.” And I don’t remember anyone seeming the least bit curious about that. About why I would mention the hoe’s origin. And truthfully, I don’t know either. Except it seemed important. Seemed to honor both–the tool and the person.
I know how to fix this hoe. How to burn out the old broken neck part. Or drill it out. But I don’t think I’ll do that. Played with the idea of burying it, but don’t think I’ll do that either. So for now it’s resting–a long needed rest I’d say–and I’m telling again the origin of this tool. This was my mother’s hoe.