I can see your evidence. The soil is mounded there where once was even. The rounded curve of the flesh engorged and overripe through overrun neglect. Even after harvest there’s no return. The edges of the bed bow wider now from the deluge and the churning. The base of the boards have weakened through the damp days and hot nights. Even now, four seasons round, the body morphs and your affects are visible naked to others’ eyes.
Never again the same as the barren ‘scape before. With each season a new introduction. With each turn another getting-to-know-you period. You know yourself through brutely forced consciousness but are as of yet unaware.
I hold awareness for us both. I tend. I feed. I sow. I dig deep and I find more than I knew I could in the depths of discovery. Time and again the necessity is met from stores unknown until a hopefully never known future where they run dry.
I fill the feeder and they come. They drain and abandon. I fill the feeder and they come. They drain and abandon. The finches and swallows, scissortails and sparrows, they give way. The doves and grackels have claimed their turf. I stop filling the feeder.
The tomatoes are in the shade. Did the china berry grow since last summer? I doubt by that much. My garden layout made it to Plan G before being constructed, and ended at Plan P by the time I finished building. I may’ve encroached on the shade a bit much. Everyone on the west side is a tinge yellow.
I grew peas this year. I wanted my daughter to have fresh garden peas. Yesterday, she ate fresh garden peas, straight from the pod held in my hands. A moment in time where the time spent away with the soil allowed the soil to grow the food to feed the time spent together. I didn’t even think they tasted that great having already baked through many a day near 90 degrees. She devoured them one by one. As did a caterpillar who had burrowed its way down into a pod and was happily munching through each pea toward the bottom. I let it be.
A tomato appeared at a sprint. Only flowers swearingly yesterday and today a large gum ball grown at an odd angle. As though one side pinched shut while the other ballooned. I lost the labeling system after the final transplant thanks to all of the rain we’ve been having (I never did make it back out with a pencil to rewrite the pen notations.)
Trees are trying for it seemingly everywhere. In the self-re-seeded celusia. In the lavender. In the lime. As much as I like trees and as much as some places need so many more of them, I have quite enough right here. I cannot help but pot up some of the more impetuous specimens. Would you like a baby bur oak? Or perhaps a pecan? I have extra.
The sweet potatoes are impatient months into their stint in the burlap sack. They were promised parole in April. “It’s May, you know,” they say. I dug a bed for them. Grass begone! Organic matter mixed in to lighten the clay. Oh, there’s a rock. Let’s pry that out of there…oh! there’s another rock. And another. Pry pry pry. And…that’s a pipe. Here’s a car, and a hardware store, and some couplings, and here’s a hole in the ground. It’s almost dark. I eyeball. I dry fit. It’s beautiful. I prime. It dries. I cement and connect and cement and connect. Cement and connect and cement and – snap! That’s another pipe. That was Sunday three weeks ago. Last Sunday I attempted the second fix. Cut too long…adjusted too short. Tried anyway. It leaks. There’s still a hole in the ground.
I made myself a cake. (This is doubly a treat.)
I hope today is full of sunshine on the inside and downpours of love be you a mother, have you a kind mother, or love you a lovely other’s mother.
A year has passed. One could say that at any point and it would be just as true. A year has passed and then some. Her birthday has come and gone. The first anniversary of my birth day as well. Emotions gain so much in parenthood. Patience expands beyond previous horizons repeatedly. Joy bubbles to bursting at times. Sorrow rises and oozes and weighs over everything.
The glee at a sprouted seed, magnified.
The anticipation at the next growth stage, heightened.
The pride in the successes, overgrown.
And too, the melancholy and grievous loss over the end of the season, palpable.
So long, little baby. Hello, little lady. Thank you for the memories you’ve given (and the tokens you’ve offered with your tiny starfish hands.) Thank you for the clues to cherish those “one last times” so that I wouldn’t miss them. Thank you for all of the upheaval and growth. I feel my mind’s weeds have been cleared and the soil of my spirit has never been richer.
I’m not sure that the goodbyes to each piece of you will ever grow easier to live, but I’ll live them gladly because each goodbye for me ushers in your new hello.