top of page

The Garden

I figured out the meaning of life at age 26. That was when I had a backyard all to myself-sort of. I shared it with the eight losers, I mean anarcho punks I lived with in the duplex that towered over it. They didn't work and threw a dumpstered rotisserie chicken in my compost pile, but I digress.


I discovered the meaning of life one evening when, after walking home from work on a chilly central Illinois November evening, I picked up a rake and raked my first pile of leaves ever-and I couldn't believe the immediate peace that fell over me as I pulled the many metal fingers across the ground, collecting those dried brown crispy critters. I didn't have any music on, no one was around to be impressed-it was just me, the dim light of the evening, and the sound of raking and seeing the areas around the yard look clean and neat from my work.


It was a relatively large yard that I poured my heart into. I never really had a lot of backyards growing up-we mostly lived in apartments or in places that didn't have much in terms of play areas behind the house. One year, my mom and step dad decided having a satellite was far more important than having a pool (much to my dismay as I wasn't even allowed to enjoy the perks of satellite tv like Disney or MTV unless I was sick or it was Live Aid). So when I moved in and the landlord who was cool AF from San Francisco allowed me to have a compost (she even had a little fence built for it) and a garden to plant anything I wanted, I immediately began planning and building my dream garden.


My boyfriend at the time was as cute and sturdy as a hobbit, complete with big hairy feet and a hippy heart. He tilled the garden area I planned for the vegetables. Being in the local punk anarchist scene meant I had tons of DIY zines at my disposal to research what to grow and plant that could be considered natural bug repellants like marigolds. I went to tree sales and bought a dogwood tree. I ordered bleeding hearts from a flower catalogue. I dug my shovel in the compost and turned it so that the raw veggies and eggshells could decompose properly.

I sat on my balcony overlooking my land like a medieval lord with glee and excitement.


I started the seeds inside in January. Lettuce, tomato, peppers and every herb I could get my hands on. My babies grew abundantly and by the time I could plant them in the spring, they were happy little plants that fit perfectly into the rich midwestern ground ready to be loved and watered.


Then I got evicted because our cool AF landlord found out about our cats. Only my boyfriend and I were evicted. I was so devastated; I had to go on anti-depressants (but that's another story).

My really good friends moved in. I couldn't bear to visit for months.


When I finally came to visit for like 5 minutes, I saw the fruits of my hard work-the garden was so lush-I couldn't believe my eyes. I almost cried at how full and lush the tomato plants were. Probably three feet tall! I left Illinois for a three-month road trip to deal with my broken heart...and being faced with figuring out how to navigate the world without a garden.


I am now 43 and have, to this day, never had a garden since.


okay maybe there was one more, but it was short lived and the weeds were impossible to get rid of. The opposite of zen

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Commentaires


bottom of page