The father of my children used to say that he could gauge how I was feeling about myself by two things. If I was well and in a positive state, my cooking was divine and my garden was glorious. Actually, his words were more fundamental.
My garden has looked neglected, and my cooking, as most moms come to experience with the daily grind has become routine. These days, the latter due to having busy teens, and the need to throw carbs into the trough. When I get the chance now, the goods are good!
Drooping, weedy plants is the bigger sign. I used to love buying flats of annuals and taking joy in the simple pleasure of their generous beauty. Money is tight, and such an expenditure falls into the “must do without” category.
Today I said the hell with it, and found ten dollars for some impatiens and seeds. Ten dollars for mental health cost less than a bottle of pharmaceuticals and lasts longer. So I hauled out two of my four window boxes to my kitchen, and cleaned out the moldering bits, added ground eggshells and other amendments ( I so need a container of composting worms- a must for container gardening), and felt the sensuality of wet earth in my hands. I planted the annuals, seeded some trailing alyssum, and offered a prayer of thanksgiving as I replaced them in their brackets.
Tomorrow I will prune the other two, which contain geraniums, and have grown woody. The bight red outside the bathroom window, and the lavender box which sits before me as I work at my desk. Despite my neglect, these plants refuse to give up on me, and shower me with their profuse beauty. I owe them.
To the many containers out in my front, south-facing garden, I seeded basil, and several flowers in bare pots, and added trailing alyssum and lobelia to any pot with room. I like layering. Greenery and color gracefully cascading over the pots, framing the rosemary or vines above. If you were to drive by, you would see a temporary decor of plastic kitchen wrap and blue painters tape for the terrariums needed to nurse the seeds from their sleep.
No doubt my cranky neighbor upstairs will complain, but that is her sport. I ignore her.
So I have planted hope. The hope that in the future, my life will thrive once again. The hope that people will find work to put bread on the table. The hope that our children will remember that no matter what, they are loved beyond all reason and boundaries. That laughter and love and flowers will turn my house back into a home.