In describing my hopes for our small "plot of land," I could merely refer you to Michael Pollan's second chapter of his book, Second Nature, and although I believe everyone should immediately go out and buy it, read it, and pass it along to friends, I'm no sure that simply passing the torch to another will necessarily fulfill my own need to express myself and the hopes not only for my garden but my family as well.
Although I am no longer pushing two hundred pounds and waddling my way to the toilet every half hour, my time is still someone else's. My hands are nearly always full, and when they aren't my adorable son, though sleeping deeply, will mysteriously sense either that I am no longer watching over him or that I am straining myself in some way and wake up in a fussy and often screaming outburst. This sounds much more disagreeable than I find it. Indeed, that time that is not spent staring into his dark blue eyes trying to make him smile with silly songs is delegated to mostly those activities that last in the soul: reading, sewing, and in our garden. Better still, in the early morning and early evening when the sun's intensity no longer comes down on us in a blazing heat, Keats and I sit on the garden bench, rubbing noses and staring at the changing light through the tall roses and the leaves of the overhanging bush above us.
In a few days time, Birch and I will harvest blueberries and artichokes. Our garden will be the site and source of many a feast, begrudgingly not shared with Keats who we are already impatient to share more of our world with. Like the plants in it, our family will grow and evolve along with this place we've recreated for ourselves from the earth and our dreams. Here we live out our convictions. We witness truth and beauty even in the sections that are not "complete." They appear barren or dying, but we learn from these areas just as much as we learn from the generous tomato plants and the many cups of hot mint tea made each night from the leaves in the green pot.
To make the world beautiful doesn't take much, I find. It takes time, invention, patience, creativity, and most of all, humility. When I become frustrated with the home I've helped to create I quickly realize that I am not truly frustrated but impatient and prideful. The beauty and potential I see for my home does not need to occur in a day or even a year. It can evolve and reproduce at its own pace. Looking back at the last two years I have spent with my husband, I see the treasures we have collected around us as the ongoing process that they make our home. I would not have know to bring all the elements in at once. It would have seemed incongruous and strange.
Raising Keats will prove to be a similar challenge, I'm sure. We must wait to show him our world as he becomes ready for it just as we must wait to see who he will become. We will watch as the passing treasures of each day come to settle in him to form the man he will become. He is two months old and already I am impatient to know him as a man complete with dreams, convictions, and questions of his own. I am even impatient to introduce him to his own first blueberry, first artichoke, first birthday party, first campout, first music festival, first everything. Like our garden and like our home, I must learn to appreciate the process. This continuous migration of ideas and moving of furniture becomes all that my life is: the aspiring to a perfection in beauty and love. Learning from each barren cubic foot in order to make it a beautiful one. Harvesting and reseeding all the while, and loving every single moment of it.
To my family and friends,
I love you.