Tuesday, July 5, 2011


                I'm worried about my garden plants.  I think about them when I wake up in the morning.  I think about them when I close my eyes at night.  I think about them when I see commercials showing intimate (and slightly uncomfortable) close-ups of fresh vegetables.  When I stand, overwhelmed, in the Giant Eagle produce section.  When I order the veggie blend with my thirty-seconds-rare steak at the Outback.  I dream about the pale, bell-like blossoms on my Gypsy pepper plant, the softly furred blooms of my Oxheart tomato plant.  
                At first, I fretted over the little plants, worried that their growth was slow, that every imagined deficiency proved my fault.  I water them too little.  I water them too much.  They get too little sun.  They get too much sun.  Do they lack for attention?  Should I not fondle the leaves?  Is that a yellow spot?!
                I'm failing.  I'm failing.
                Weeks ago, the first pepper blossom fell and in its place a tiny green swelling appeared.  It grew.  I relaxed.  And turned my focus to the towering, but fruitless tomato plant.  Then the hint of a tomato appeared, like a droplet of rainwater trapped amidst the green.  I thought I would be satisfied.  I thought I would find relief once the first fruits made an appearance.  But the worry is worse.  Now every morning and evening, I check the baby peppers and tomatoes, turn them gently to inspect the skin, test the weight and firmness.
                I'm understanding just how much worry is involved in taking care of something alive.  How did my parents survive all these years with the constant concern about my physical well-being?  I know they worry still.   Am I growing well?  Am I bearing fruit?  Can I weather the coming winter? 
                I've never been neurotic about taking care of an infant or child.  Even though I'm not a mother, I can hear the difference between the angry howl of a hungry baby and the high wail of a frightened baby.  I know how to lull little ones to sleep with heartbeat pats and low-throated humming.  I know how to feed them, bathe them, clothe them, entertain them with silly songs and simple games.  Babies make sense. 
                But these plants.  Oh, these plants.

                I love them.     

Reason I Didn't Write Yesterday: Didn't Wanna

1 comment:

  1. Finally! The reappearance of The Lazy Writer! Lovely post. I want more!!!