There was a story in the news this morning about a man named Andreas living in a town called Wiener Neustadt, which is south of Vienna in Austria. He was turning the soil over in his backyard and uncovered buried treasure. Hundreds of pieces of jewelry and baubles around 650 years old: a nifty reward for doing one of those ordinary mundane gardening tasks we all do in the Spring. Who buried it? Was it a pirate? I bet it was! The best part of the story is that he was considering loaning the collection to a museum instead of cashing in. I would do the same thing of course. Well, after I played “Pirate Dress Up” for a few weeks, THEN I would loan it out.
It reminded me of all the things I have unearthed while gardening. Mostly toys like little plastic soldiers or marbles, some tiny skeletons which I assumed were Halloween favors from long ago, animal bones, costume jewelry for little girls and strange articles of clothing. Every time I find something it gets my imagination working. How did that get there or what was the child like who was playing in this dirt, or how did that sock get buried under this tree and is it evidence in some serial killer’s murder spree? A few times I’ve hit a power line or a water pipe that I wasn’t supposed to hit – oops. The best ‘buried treasure’ story came from my grandmother. Apparently my grandfather was digging her a garden many years ago in Indiana when they were first married. He found a wedding ring, a real one. He immediately came in the house and asked her to marry him again. She always said “of course I said yes.” She wore both rings on the same finger for as long as I can remember.
Gardeners are like mini-archeologists. We are compelled to dig and till, turn over and stir up Earth, always with an eye open to what’s down there. We bury some things and we find some things. How many amazing and random objects have seen the light of day once again simply because some of us cannot leave the soil alone. It’s pretty awesome when you think about it. Makes me want to go garden.
All of today’s photos were from a trip to Kauai a few years ago because thinking about treasure makes me think of pirates and pirates make me think of tropical island paradise. And also Johnny Depp – the best pirate ever!