It has felt so good to have the past several days to actually step outside and pay attention to my plants. To actually grab the hose, twist off the stupid fucking pressure nozzle and let it gush buckets and buckets, splashing over leaves and rinsing away the dirt and shit that’s stuck to them. And though by mere millimeters, I believe I can see the millimeters of improvement as my living things begin to shift from under the tyranny.
None of that paralysis on the couch as I see Daniel tinkering around the yard with the hose on “shower”, pitter-pattering drops that merely keep the big picture alive as a whole. Now with him in the classroom I don’t have to worry about his eyes on me as I water until my heart’s content – as I should, seeing as how I’m paying 100% of the utilities here. Freedom!
Today I went hard, answering cries for help. After everyone was accounted for I grabbed a shovel and went for the four soldiers who seemed mostly to be saying goodbye. Digging them out, I imagined lifting them from the seas to a helicopter ladder, as their parts released they seemed to take my hand and say, “Anywhere but here.”
Do you SEE this birdfeeder, here? Do you SEE all of this bird shit and seed shells? YOU DON’T PUT PLANTS HERE. Correction, if you must disagree I will answer factually: YOU DON’T PUT AUTUMN’S PLANTS HERE.
I started to note how much gardening is like a strategy game. As I rototilled the little patch of soil I had mistakenly used for lilies, I came across some bulbs still underground. I turned around to the next island, brushed away the layer of mulch, made a hole and planted the bulb before covering it all back up, the only who knows it’s hiding there, waiting. My shrub at the far end of the yard might be removed from the rest of the army but it is strong, happy and dominating from the opposite side.
I was so used to one large, moving unit that just sort of continued to grow larger and take over. This has looked like a failed attempt but maybe it has been a different battle plan.
Then I made my boldest move. Once my fingers had tended to the dead leaves I put the four wounded soldiers in to the flower bed. I imagined Daniel in a fit, outraged that I had gone and put hostas there. Autumn’s hostas are not border plants, I thought, as if I had to argue with the very thought of him. I knew what wasn’t going to make it. Before I lost them, I gave them what they wanted. Why can’t he ever do that for me?
Taking an unused pot from the garage, I dumped its dry soil around the hostas. It’s mixed with that white stuff, a light styro-foammy filler, and spreading that out always seems to give something to the plants. I believe this works. Sometimes believing creates a magic of its own. Then I covered up with mulch and cleaned up the mess.
Little by little. Every day, a difference.
We are here to win this war.