You wouldn’t think it, but once upon a time I was a gardener.
I had a beautiful little yard behind my home in Tucson. It got just enough light to host flowers and pomegranates and herbs. For two years, I weaved honeysuckle vines in and out of a chainlink fence to make it beautiful. Sometimes in a manic state in the middle of the night. It smelled delightful and the stamens, when pulled out of the flowers, were sweet.
The yard was my oasis in a scary world.
The soil was good and I tended to my compost bin daily. Every fall, I would scatter African daisy and California poppy seeds. Sometimes bluebells and lupine as well. I’d water my yard every night for a month. And then, in the Spring, my yard would come alive.
I planted four types of zinnias. Snapdragons. Basil (sweet, Greek, Mayo Yeome) and mint (pineapple, peppermint, spearmint and chocolate). The tomato seeds that landed on the compost would take root in every pot in Spring and mock me with their presence. Pumpkin seeds in Fall. Caterpillars would eat their weight in leaves in an hour.
I eventually got a fig tree. And to that point in my life, I’d never known the exquisite heaven of a sun-warmed fig bursting in my mouth.
In the late summer, I’d spend hours in the yard listening to David Sedaris while harvesting wildflower seeds. Bags and bags and bags. They never grew for other people the way they grew for me though. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it had to do something with the love I poured over them.
I went back to that garden years after I’m moved out. And everything was gone. Every shred of life I’d planted and fostered, ripped out by the root. That happens sometimes.
I do a lot of things with love. I cook with it, knit with it, embroider with it, draw and paint with it, write and perform with it, worry with it, get sick with it, live for it and die from it. But never hurt anyone else with it.
The only thing I ever want to do is watch things grow. Flowers, trees, children, careers, art, books, relationships.
That is me at my core. I thrive when I am in a support capacity. I am neither the bee nor the flower. I am the water. And the water is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the story.