Something is Growing in the Garden — reflection
To say I had a green thumb was a statement of fact, hands deep in soil and weeds on lazy weekends. My mother at the helm of the operation, overseeing edge lines and mulch layering: the practice of digging my hands into the bags, dirt collecting under fingertips, to cover growing weeds. Under the gaze of the hot sun, we’d toil away in the garden, when I dreamed of beach days with friends or mall grazing, air conditioning and cold slushies, not watching the water flow from the hose.
Never pretending to be a plant person, I bought one $5 fern to keep in the corner of my college apartment, either for air quality of aesthetics and watered it when right before I went out the door. Never thought about it much, tortured it out of the monotony of a sporadic watering period, disdain lapping and collecting at the bottom of the pot.
The recent days she was in the hospital, there was no one to tend to the garden, plants growing skyward, roots heavy in the soil, weeds expanding, claiming the expanse and spreading uncontrollably, quietly, untended to. Hundreds of miles away from I took to my own earth, growing tomatoes in candle holders, propagating basil from itself — cutting at the stems to give life to new plants. Misremembering fondly of hours in the sun, time spent cultivating our garden together, and watching the roots grow heavy, trees expand towards the sky’s line. I can feel the distance in the memory, but it clings like sunlight to the leaves, watered with small tears welling, pooling and collecting at the bottom.
My garden grows as I tend to it, sharing photos with family members of celery, lavender, peas, tomato plants, and more basil than I can count. I take pride and joy in the monotony, watering, cutting, chopping basil leaves for my salad, green onions rooted in coffee grounds grow skyward. Sharing in the quiet revelation of caring to something that grows on its own on the soils of trust, water and care. Now, I grow basil and mint in the banks of the sun and water them as my mother watered me.