Summer 1991. I was pregnant with our first son, and for the first time in years I felt the urge to put some seeds in the ground. Jeff and I lived in a tiny apartment in a tidy little complex in Akron, Ohio with our cat Andy. The 2-story buildings were brick, and the interior walls plaster. I think they were built just after WWII. There were 2 tiny bedrooms and an eat-in kitchen, with hardly room for a tiny table and 4 small chairs. But there were windows on 3 sides, and the buildings were fairly well-maintained, and they reminded me a little of the House I lived in on my college campus back in Western Massachusetts.
So, on weekends, I toiled away in the backyard up next to the building, making a flower bed, probably about 2-1/2 feet deep, and about 12 feet in length. I could hardly spare the time, and really didn't have the money to plant anything really lavish. I guess it was really more of a cutting garden.
I had no tools, so I bought only hand tools -- a trowel and a little, whaddyacallit, a hand rake of sorts. I got down on my hands and knees (pretty soon I learned to use a piece of corrugated cardboard to kneel on), and dug up the grass, and loosened up the dirt. I think I may have enriched the soil with a little bit of fertilizer? I didn't have a hose, but there was a spigot on the building, so I got a watering can and moistened the soil.
I bought only seeds, because it was cheaper. I planted zinnias and snapdragons, and I must say they were a great choice. Because both types of flower gave me a variety of colors. The zinnias were the most showy, and the snapdragons delicate and endearing.
Mum and I thought my need to make things grow had to do with my gestating a brand new little human - the stirrings of a maternal self.
These days I'm feeling more ambivalent about growth and progression.
We are empty-nesters, and I feel like the victim of some kind of a dirty trick. We drove out to Cleveland a couple of weeks ago to install the third and final son in college. We couldn't be prouder of our boys, but I miss them so......
But of even more import, since my last update on my brother David, he has had more problems with his darn melanoma. He has had surgery to remove tumors from his spine, received radiation and more immunotherapy, and a tumor in his brain is being irradiated today. I am cheering for his non-cancerous cells, especially his immune system to grow and progress and destroy the cancerous cells.
I am hopeful, but still a little worried. I find myself on my knees more, in prayer. Maybe I should visualize myself on some cardboard, planting little seeds of immune cells to flourish fighting the melanoma.
I'm sure no explanation is needed, but just to be complete, the above photos were all taken at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. And there are still more to come.