Saturday, September 20, 2014

An Unlikely Paradise

Dearest Garden,

I remember when you were born. It was only one summer ago that we were dragging bags of garbage and rogue dildos off of the grass.

We planted a row of  sunflowers and seeded zinnias. You bloomed and were quite lovely.

Then something changed.

Tomatoes, squash, pumpkins and tender bean shoots moved in. Wildflowers spread. Dill, parsley, thyme, hot peppers and zippy radishes grew.

New neighbors appeared: delicate spiders, bumble bees, more butterflies than I'd ever seen in the city and a rabbit with a gimpy foot.

You became an Unlikely Paradise. 

























We began to obsess over what to feed you-- keeping a heaping brackish pile of coffee grounds and egg shells, rubbing our mitts together and whispering, "Next year".  I visit you first thing in the morning to inspect for any minute changes or surprises and document the successes like a pageant mom.

At night, I pull back the curtain and check to be sure everything is peaceful in Eden.

Other times, I would sit in you to enjoy the sun and muse about your empire. Next year...

You made us into crazy people. And I love you for it.

I'll admit I had gardened before you and have slain many a house plant. (I'm sorry.)

But there is something all together different and life affirming about growing food. It is nutritive and invigorating.  Upon seeing the pink rump of a radish emerging, I am pulled back to summer days at my grandparents house eating dirt covered carrots bathed with a garden hose. They tasted like pennies and sun.

I love you grandma. I love you grandpa. 


 























Not only did we meet secret creatures and travel through time, but you changed my whole relationship with food. You feel much differently about throwing out a mealy tomato-like object you scooped up at the super market than you do a blushing piece of heaven fruit you have been babying for months.

That shit is like a diamond. Use it. Use all of it. Anything you can't use goes back to feed the garden.

Better yet, you want to share your feast with people. 

I know you can tell fall is approaching, (you're dirt, you know everything) but don't worry, Garden. We'll keep parts of you warm inside. We'll tuck parts of you in so you can sleep. Parts of you are cozy in jars in the pantry. Our spring will be incredible.

I can't wait for you to see yourself, Garden. I am so proud of you.


Your Devoted Helper,










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