I went to Home Depot today and got depressed...
When we first bought our home there were no plants, just crabgrass, stumps and broken glass- there were no birds, bees or bugs, just cat shit... After that first summer I decided that we would have the best garden in the neighborhood. I recall clearing 100x100 foot areas and smaller plots of grass to make way for the grand ideas that I had. I treated the soil and improved the pH. I remember being pregnant with my third, sitting out in the yard clearing the weeds so that we would have a garden after the baby was born. It felt amazing to stay outside for hours into dusk working away once the weather broke.
We used to have the most amazing garden- herbs, eggplant, melon, squash, peppers, tomatoes and bulbs and wild flowers galore. I started my garden every year with plans and new ideas. We owned a tumbler and a vermicompost. It was the most amazing science experiment and food education experience my kids ever had. We watched the life plume in our yard as bluejays and yellow finches and butterflies and all kinds of bees made their home in or near our yard. We even had bats swoop in during the late summer and early fall to freak us out as we worked in the backyard at dusk. Then we moved.
That first spring and summer away was hard. Since I had separated from my ExHusband we still visited the house. The yard called my name and shamelessly I found myself tending to the flora I spent so much time and effort cultivating. But then we sold our home and the idea that we would never have a garden again set in.
It was and still is a sad feeling. I walk through the garden section longing to plan wonderful landscapes. I look at the boxes of bulbs at the grocery store wishing I could lay them in gentle rows in the front bulb garden. So today was like no other awkward garden moment.
My oldest: Mom can we get a watermelon or some peppers. Oh wait we can't because we don't have a yard.
Me: yep. But we can grow herbs indoors!
Her: Yeh ok. So if we grow plants inside can we get some watermelon and maybe some cucumber?
Me: No dear, those require bees to pollinate them so they can bear fruit. Anything that flowers can't be grown inside.
Me: yeh, I know.
We walked around looking at the dianthus and the marigolds and recalled "that one time when..." yard moments. Then we bought some topsoil and we came home.
I wasn't excited to repot our herbs because I felt that it was not the same. Who was I fooling? But as I got to work this evening potting our herbs I realized that I didn't miss the yard per se. I missed the feeling of warm dirt, the fresh oxygen coming off the plants, the love for caring for something life giving. I just missed the therapy of the act.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.