>Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand…


“See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!”
Romeo and Juliet. ACT II Scene 2

Being a glove upon my hand wouldn’t be nearly as romantic. My gloves perform a very different drama: growing a garden. My gloves get dirty. If they rested upon my cheek, I’d have to wash my face every time I came in from playing in the dirt. They’re not the soft white of a gentlewoman’s wardrobe. They’re made for work, not leisure, but I feel pleasure when I pick up a pair of gloves and go outside.

The striped gloves, faded golden brown with leather palms, help me grip the handles of the shovel, the hoe, turning soil and digging holes and small trenches. The holes and trenches become home to seeds and seedlings, compost, eggshells, and other stray items that flit in on the wind.

The pink and white gloves are cotton, great for summer weeding and watering. They dry quickly if I get them wet, and the worst of the dirt brushes off. They’ll never be pristine white, and that’s fine with me. I bought this pair in their pale color scheme with the ribbon on the back because part of the cost became a donation to breast cancer research. La Petite wears a pair just like this one in her summer job at the garden center.

The third pair, green and white, is a little more snug than the others. I haven’t worn these yet, a Mother’s Day gift, and I predict they’ll be great for weeding. They’re solid enough that very little will poke through and nail my oh-so tender (not!) hands. They’re warm, comfortable, and fit very well; I won’t have to to take them off to handle small things.

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”
Romeo and Juliet. ACT II Scene 2.
I hope the fair Juliet can spare some light to help my vegetables grow. After all, I already have the gloves. Do you suppose Shakespeare talked about compost?

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