Every Saturday in summer starts the same. Over morning coffee I browse gardening magazines seeing colorful, calming gardens. I picture my beds filled in with plans made during winter. In the shade, wonderful white flowers and healthy green leaves brighten a dark spot. On the patio, a comfy daybed under an umbrella beckons a lazy day of reading and snoozing as a cool breeze shoos the flies away.
With all the excitement of a child at Christmas, I hurry out to make my imaginations real. I’m met with a lawn that needs mowed and a list made long from a short few weeks away from home.
- Remnants of a planting idea
- Mess of unplanted plants
- Overgrown weeds
- Tomatoes run away
- Everywhere fallen leaves and twigs
- Unfinished projects
- Unkept plants
If only had more energy or less pain. Or maybe if a helper would do the heavy lifting. Then maybe.
I say, “Oh I was gonna work on that! This area needs some review. I’m not sure where I’m going to plant this? Why did I buy so many plants???”
Those are definitely the phrases I utter over and over.
I look around in a melancholic moodiness only my disappointing, untended garden can conjure. In a jumble of thoughts I wish I had someone to rescue my sad excuse of a Garden. While I miss things that never were. It’s strange to grieve losing my inner vision, or maybe it’s more than that? Maybe it’s my identity I’ve lost… Just as the vege garden sits disheveled and forgotten, so too my dreams of beauty. Among the mess there are hints of creativity. Only nature decides what remains. Here its too dry for a Lemony Laced sambucus.
Does an author just tell a real life story? I want to know what is real. People see others based on their sum experiences with that person. Having been with myself for a very long time I know no more than those who know the wife, the co-worker, the friend, the daughter, the sister, the neighbor, the customer. Earlier I thought I was as real as the mother I knew. She could only be the sum of her experiences. She endured many pains and still wanted to do for others. She too probably wished for a helper and less pain.
Her steps were tentative. One foot on the stair, her left arm on the railing. In her right hand the laundry basket wedged above the rounded hip. She pulls her damaged leg up to meet the other. And the weight shifts to her arm as her good leg lifts quickly onto the next stair. The missing knee cap of her damaged leg doesn’t bother her as much as the shattered ankle. Remembering her walk from basement to bedroom with laundry fills me with a deep guilt. Only those who wake up from the ignorance of another’s life only feet from their existence know the depth of that shame. It taints every good thing you do in your present if you let it. So better to let that part of life lie. So I digress.
I did have a lady stop me to ask what the wonderful plant with upright leaves and beautiful large flowers were?
‘Ah yes’ I said, ‘That there is a Datura. What you see is not its nature. In fact my neighbor has tended it very nicely. it can grow huge! Never mind the large spiky seed pods that produce hundreds of offspring’
‘Oh I didn’t know it was your neighbors!’
‘No no, it’s mine. My lovely neighbor Sandy likes it tidy and helps me keep it in shape. Its not usually so nice. I can show you an example of one that’s not been trimmed this season.’
The next time I saw Sandy, I told her the story. She said ‘Well, it does take a good amount of work to make it so.’
When I asked her if she prefer I remove it. She jumped at that and said, yeah I think it would be better. 🙂 So the example of the well-maintained the Datura was cut down because it takes too much maintenance!
Sandy if you ever see this, you are a treasure.
And no I would never give you more maintenance work on my yard and then you have in your own! Hahaha. I can imagine what Sandy would say if she saw my backyard.
“Oh Jenny you have a mess!”
And she be right. There is so much that I used to maintain. And now I’m just broken down. The yard reflects how I feel.
Two daturas… bottom, second from right, a well maintained specimen, to its left one that has taken over a space of 15 feet? To its left an example of the spiky seed pods. Oh but what a gorgeous flower!