I did a lot of digging in the dirt this weekend—elbow deep in potting soil and sweat.
However, Sara’s the one who’s done the heavy lifting when it comes to yard work this spring and summer, transforming a backyard in ruin into one we can be borderline proud of. I say “borderline,” because we still have a massive distance to travel when it comes to growing grass instead of weeds. However, the dog poop is picked up, raised beds have been built, and these two left-leaning lesbians have a patch of pure happiness beyond the back door.
But, as Sara pointed out, I’ve always had a thing for flowers. Even in the darkest days of my bipolar disorder, green things mattered.
In Dallas, it was African violets I had growing:
Government subsidized housing or not, it helped to have petals opening:
Whether it was petunias in clay pots or zinnias on my kitchen counter—the unfolding always fed me—basil and impatiens on my balcony:
So living in Tulsa, overly medicated and fighting for even snatches of sanity, I wrote this poem about an artist friend who had pretty much planted an antique mannequin in her garden—a lawn ornament of sorts. This image, as oblique as my psychosis, spoke to me. Somehow it was important, powerful, as well. It spoke to me of hope—of healing—a mind dreaming of meaning, even in my madness.
(for Shawn)Her garden mannequins wear antique buttons glass beaded bracelets Accolades of color cut at odd angles An oblique circling of ornamental limbs planted in the lawn wrists ankles arms New bodies blooming
How do you grow hope?
Does grace grow in your garden?