I woke up this morning with the news that Russia had taken Crimea.
Then I went out and admired my new tiny culinary garden. I can’t handle more than a tiny plot. I love unruly wild woodlands, and meadows, and cottage gardens that fluff and pour and shout their exuberance. But if I’m the one meticulously caring for a bit of earth, that’s exactly what it ought to be: a bit.
Then I thought of friends, and my social anxiety when there becomes too much in my life. One of the things I’ve been learning this last year is to slow down, space events out, and allow myself rest and breathing room. Quality, not quantity. There were two options for St. Patrick’s day fun with friends last night but our whole family has been feeling stretched so I decided to stay home, make corned beef and cabbage and potatoes for us, then go to the quad together.
There’s a kind of magic at the university where time seems to stand still and you could be anywhere during any era, tucked between the same stone buildings and trees that have been growing for a hundred years. The cherry trees were blooming and the windows were glowing like candlelight in the growing dusk. The boys went haywire in the big field. Biking, climbing the trees, rolling in the mud, wrestling. And the pink swaths of blossoms cradled us.
We left after it got dark. As we walked back to the car Harry clung to me like one of the gargoyles on the buildings and pretended to shoot dragons. I thought, what more do I need?
Why do we need more and more and more out of life? I don’t need popularity, power, expensive things. More peninsulas devoured, more people hurt in the wake. All these things will fade with time.
I need this boy in my arms, the cogs of his mind spinning with imagination. I need a few herbs, a few friends, a few books. The kinds of things that bloom year after year after year. The space left can be used to nurture, create, love, and blossom: the wild garden growing in open, free land.