New Growth

Here is a morsel of truth for your Monday: I am not good at growing things.

Specifically, green things.

I can care for one brown dog (8 years and counting) and keep a dwindling flock of flighty chickens alive (there were four, now there are three). But plants you say? I kill them – every. single. time.

No matter how badly I would like to pick fresh vegetables from a bountiful garden just out my backdoor, I can’t. I am not one of those homesteading instagramming women. I don’t carry in aprons full of freshly picked strawberries. My herb garden is a graveyard of dry cracked pots.

It isn’t for lack of effort. Our home is full of mostly wilting, pitiful plants that are not exactly thriving despite my best efforts. Maybe it’s the watering that feels like a waste. Maybe it’s the strategy that I don’t understand, the rhythm of pruning and picking and watering and weeding that we just can’t figure out. Whatever it is, there are  feats that just don’t come naturally to this duo and growing green things is among them.

So this weekend in a rare recognition of our shortcomings we decided to rip out the remnants of a raised garden bed left by the tenants before us. It took us more than a year to come to that decision. Two full seasons of wishing and hoping and failing and avoiding. In the end, the rickety wood and overgrown weeds were but a painful reminder of what I wasn’t good at, what I had tried – and failed – to learn. What I didn’t have the patience to practice. So we did what we are good at – employing brut strength to rip up roots and dig out stumps and pry apart the frame of a bed that is no more.

I shoveled. He hacked. We heaved.

We’re good at brut force. We’re strong and determined and when it comes to will power and fortitude this much  I know: we will win – every. single. time. And maybe that’s exactly what’s allowed us to grow some things so well – this home, our marriage, my business, our dreams. What is growth, after all, if not one small flourish after another? Some leaves fall. Other flowers bloom. And we keep reaching for sunshine day after day.

But here’s the irony for you. The frame is gone now and its place is a fresh patch of dark dirt in which we really need to grow some grass.


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