in a lot of partnerships, both people often assume different but complimentary roles. i often hear of administrative partners where one is the "idea person" and the other is the "implementor," or couples where one is "organized" and the other is the "balance of mess." the world would be a terribly boring place if there were no longer any sibling pairs, one being an "instigator" and the other a "defender." and, of course, i'd be remiss to leave out the classic example of dj jazzy jeff and the fresh prince, i.e. "he's the dj, i'm the rapper."
patricio and i are putting together a rather fabulous partnership of complimentary roles, which has made us feel like pretty clever inventors. clearly, developing a good marriage involves a lot more--nor are we reinventing the wheel--but we are getting to choose the colors, shapes, and sizes of the parts, if you will. and in matters regarding the house, our double platinum album would be called "he's the gardener, i'm the decorator." the title doesn't quite have that hit record ring to it, i know, but we like it anyway.
and that's how it goes: i putter around inside, deciding where to hang mirrors and place lamps, and he reigns over the yard out front, yielding hedge trimmers and the garden hose. he's got his compost a-fermenting and is now cooking up plans to level out our little spot of lawn. he absolutely loves it, which makes me very glad. i confess that as great as my fondness is for a lovely garden, i don't ever naturally think to myself, "ooh! i'm just dying to get out and water the grass!" i guess he might not, either, but at least he takes a lot more initiative to do it. thank goodness.
last saturday morning, while patricio was out watering the bleeding heart and the calla lilies, a man passed by the gate, leading his donkey by a rope and hawking bags of mulch. the two haggled over the price per bag for a few minutes, patricio claiming that the stuffed white sacks weren't worth twenty pesos, since they were filled with mulch instead of earth. in the end, i think he still paid forty pesos for the two bags he bought, but we both know that four american dollars spent on covering all the garden plants with a thick layer of dried leaves, grass and moss is not a bad deal, by any means.
the man said he comes from the mountain town of transfiguracion, and i'd like to interpret it as a good omen. since repainting the house and replacing the windows, the garden has suffered more than its share of abuse; we're hoping that the mulch will help transfigure the withered ferns and stumpy callas, coaxing a little more elegance to sprout up from their roots. my faith is the only thing i'll be using to fertilize those plants, though. the rest is up to patricio. and while he's out there with his silver bells and cockle shells, i'll be making sure our sofa pillows are all in a row.