Those of you who have been around a while know that Spring means a post about a garden. Because that’s what I do. I plant things. I plant and nurture and agonize and prune and Google and order lots of books off of Amazon and then ignore them and pretty much just do what my inner voice tells me to do. And then I come here and turn it into some story about how a garden parallels some life thing I’m going through.
I’m very predictable that way.
This is the one I wrote about a year ago after I met my mailman at the door and was handed this lovely box full of color and hope and Sweet Peas. God it made me happy. It was a perfect gift. Or so I thought it was. At some point last fall it became a source of pain and I let it go. About the same time I wrote about the day I hacked up my dying garden and also hacked off my long hair. Man, I’m good with that crazy woman in her nightgown in the garden destroying shit image. Didn’t something like that appear in Mommie Dearest? Whoa. But I did that. I destroyed it and threw it away because all it did was make me sad.
But do you remember how, after all the hacking was done, and all the debris was stuffed in the garbage can and hauled to the curb, I found out that no matter how hard I tried, the darn thing wouldn’t die? It was still growing. It never stopped.
And then we had this warm winter. And everything came back. My garden grew all winter. Perhaps with a limp, but it did. It grew. Much to my chagrin, it grew.
Well. It’s Spring again and it’s time to decide what to do with that garden. Had the winter been hard and cold and gray and killed everything off, I can see me thinking “nope. Not this year. I just don’t have it in me to do it all again.”
But that’s not the kind of winter we had. Our winter was mild. It never froze me out. And it never killed the growth. Not in me, and not in the pots on my deck. So you know what? I’m going for it. I’m going to plant the garden I always wanted. Exactly where I always wanted to plant it, except that before, I didn’t have the box.
But now I do. Now I have the box. I have the very best box. And it’s time. Time to plant and grow and nurture and agonize and be that person that talks incessantly about their garden the way some people talk incessantly about their pets.
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises, and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, you really are strong, you really do have worth, and you learn and you learn. With every goodbye, you learn.
…..by Veronica Shoffstall