The Once and Future Gardener

Be still my heart! The weather cooperated today! It usually does in Albuquerque, if hot and dry are what you have in mind. Today it was 82, and I believe I am really comfortable for the first time in a month. Not only that, but also seeds can be placed lovingly in the ground now and will germinate. Plants can be transplanted to pots outside without danger of them freezing. This is my favorite season. And the fact that my house may sell is not going to keep me from putting something in the ground. Beans to climb up on trellises made from twine on the patio to provide shade and sustenance. Flowers in every pot I can gather up. One of my favorite books that I used to read my children was called The Gardener by Sarah Stewart with illustrations by David Small. It’s the story of a young girl who has to go live with her aunt and uncle in the city. She doesn’t want to because she loves the country and growing flowers. So she asks her mother to send her more and more seeds. Pretty soon not only are there window boxes on every window sill, but there are pots and pots of flowers and she secretly creates a rooftop garden and surprises her uncle and aunt with it. She makes their corner beautiful and magical and imparts beauty to everyone’s life.

I’ve always been compelled by stories that have an element of magic in them. Not necessarily the Disney/Cinderella sort of magic, but more like the Juliette Binoche/Chocolat sort of magic–where one person makes magic in the lives of many. If I could make chocolate that would put romance back into long-married couple’s lives, I’d be one happy chocolatier.

I’m looking to make a little magic this summer. I have three-four weeks of summer camp to get planned, with two field trips per week. I’m a little daunted, but mostly excited. There are only so many canned field trips in Albuquerque, and the rest you have to create. So I’m busy creating and trying to find people to collaborate. To think that they do this over and over again every summer. It’s a little overwhelming when I think about it that way. But I bet my weeks are going to rock! My original idea was to have themes such as “A Week in the Life of a Photographer/Chef/Anthropologist/etc.” But of course there are others working on summer camp and they need to do their themes as well. So I will integrate my ideas in wherever I can. And…one of the owner’s ideas had to do with puzzles and I just found a site for labyrinth’s in New Mexico. Who knew? Organizing this type of thing is in my genes. Making magic is in my genes, in some respects. I have a healthy admiration for the magical in nearly everything, and a solid appreciation for those who bring magic to my life.

And then there are those other people. I’m back to twice weekly therapy appointments, and this is a really good move. I feel so much pressure right now I’m about to burst. I need to deal with it as intelligently as I can. I can’t retreat and hide my head in the sand. And I can’t do everything that everyone is asking of me. I need a lot of support, and have zero tolerance for unnecessary bullshit and frustration. Uncertainty for someone with OCD is torturous under normal circumstances, and these aren’t normal circumstances. Anyone not on board with me is getting tossed over and I sure hope they can swim! I never need anyone making my life harder. I especially don’t need that now. So of course, people are being hideously frustrating. Sigh.

“Most species do their own evolving, making it up as they go along, which is the way Nature intended. And this is all very natural and organic and in tune with mysterious cycles of the cosmos, which believes that there’s nothing like millions of years of really frustrating trial and error to give a species moral fiber and, in some cases, backbone.” ~ Terry Pratchett

Just what we all need, more opportunities that test us! That old saying about that which does not kill us makes us stronger? I think we should do a complete wipe of that phrase from every cultural reference and mind possible. Nothing pisses me off more than when people pull out that one. And then I think about the experiences of people in war-torn countries, and realize it can always be worse. Of course, the most impoverished parts of our nation are war-torn. Bullets flying and not enough to eat, crushing poverty, fear, and hardships I’ve never experienced are the stuff of the daily lives of many.

I was glued to a couple of the kids’ books this past week. Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games trilogy, had me enthralled. I’ve read the first and second in the series, and the kids tell me the last is anti-climactic. Apparently the author’s intent was to show what it’s like to live in a nation at war, and the war is on in earnest in the last book. My daughter didn’t finish it and asked my son to reveal the ending. Collins had them (and me) hooked with the first two, and she lost them in the last one. It sounds like a case of preaching a message rather than writing a story? But I’ll find out when I read it myself. I asked my daughter why the president’s breath smells like blood and roses, and all she would say is, “Read it yourself.” Ha ha! Funny kid!

I’ve got my agenda for tomorrow. It’s impossible, I’ve scheduled way too much, but I’ll cull it down. I most assuredly need to add beauty to my life right now, and have meaningful pleasurable experiences. Today I sat out on the patio and gave myself a pedicure. I cut myself with a new blade on my wicked Credo callous scraper thingee. I probably shouldn’t use it. They’ve been outlawed in the salons. By the time you realize you’re pressing too hard, it’s too late.  Tomorrow, some planting…morning glories by the front door, beans off the patio. It’s going to be grand. Maybe even magical.


1.) My children, always. Thanks for being kids and letting me enter and be a part of your world.

2.) Friends, especially P., for your kitchen, your encouragement, and your concern.

3.) Fluffy buddies, Lady and Pennie.

4.) Great ideas, mine or someone else’s.

5.) The magic that lies in the tiny green bit that becomes a tomato, or in the seed that becomes a beanstalk. It’s this kind of magic that keeps me enchanted with the world.


About ZephyrLiving

Join me on my journey, if you like. A return to mental health. When I started with my first blog in 2011, I was three years in. Now it's 2015, and I am so much better. I though I had nothing less to lose. I was so very wrong. So arrogant--or deluded! OCD, Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome, Chronic Depression, PTSD and Histrionic Personality Disorder. A big list, a big task. I've come a long way and still have far to go. But I've built my foundation and I'm working at it every single day! Join me for some laughs, some inspiration, some hope, and support. Peace.
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