Early, rainy spring brings me into my small backyard garden. It’s a frustrating little place – there are areas where the flowers are flourishing. Green leaves are speckled with buds or supporting vibrant blooms. Then there are the areas that are barren. Dirt and half-decomposed mulch and weeds mix with dog pee. I obsess over those areas.

Every time I walk down my garden path, I look at the empty spaces. I bend slightly and squint, hoping to see a glimmer of growth. Hoping that the smattering of green is more than another weed. I make mental notes to buy more bulbs, seeds, and plants to fill those barren spaces.

I pay little attention to the areas that are thriving. Even among my herb garden, I tend to discount the strong plants as a result of something out of my control. The soil is better; the plant is established; the sun shines brighter there. I pay too much attention to the emptiness, to the damaged areas, to the destructive weeds.

And then there’s my lawn. Bumpy and half-overgrown; the other half patchy with muddy, weedy areas that scream, “You suck at this!” I sit on my deck stairs, glass of wine or cup of coffee in my hands, staring at my angry lawn and my mangy garden and feel utterly paralyzed to do a damn thing about it except dwell on the emptiness and the damage.

To say these are dark days would be utterly melodramatic. They aren’t happy days…but they aren’t completely horrible. I’m grieving, and that is something I don’t do gracefully.  I’ve had months of heartache – one frog that didn’t turn into a prince, no matter how much I kissed or fucked him, after another. Six, to be precise. Six suitors who pursued me hotly, insisted they wanted to build a future with me, then stopped communicating with me. No more emails, texts gone ignored, calls not returned. Poof, they disappeared leaving me to beat myself to a pulp for not being thin enough, witty enough, tall enough, rich enough, pretty enough, smart enough…for simply being not good enough.  Or for being too much – too eccentric, too emotional, too busy, too compulsive or quirky.

Cognitively, I know none of that is true…I’ll be good enough to the right frog-prince.  But emotionally, I’m as muddy and bare as those patches I obsess over in my lawn and garden. All I can do is drink – coffee in the morning, wine in the afternoon – and feel paralyzed. Which is ridiculous, I know. But that’s what this sort of paralysis does.  It reduces me.

I’m a relationship girl. I like being in a relationship even though I have proven time and again that I am sufficiently inept at creating healthy, romantic partnerships. I need that label, that safety and security of knowing he is ‘mine’ and I am ‘his’. The rest will work itself out. Let’s skip Courting and jump right to Relationship. Then we can court without the anxiety and insecurity. At least I wouldn’t have anxiety and insecurity. He would have increased anxiety because what he had gotten himself into was sinking in. The thrill was fading, the gild coming off the lily. All the while, I stood clueless in my happy, dreamy world of denial and fantasy.

When I muster the strength and make the time, I go into my garden and yank out the weeds, their roots desperately clinging to clumps of soil. I shake the excess, still useful, soil back into the garden and discard the weed. I pull out my rake and till the bare patches of grass to a fluffy loam, creating a welcome environment for seeds. The dark sky is going to handle the job of watering the freshly-groomed gardens and lawn. Back on my deck stairs, bottle of water in my hand, I am satisfied with the effort. The sweat mixed with soil has formed a paste on my face, hands and legs. A long, hot shower is in my immediate future. Right after I admire the hard work I have done in my yard.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael

     /  August 26, 2011

    The depth of your heart always amazes me..

    Lone Wolfe



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