Every time, it seems, and I am acutely aware this may just be my own perception from inside this thick skull of mine… every time I am ready to stretch my wings and go places, do things, something happens. I think there’s a reason It’s a Wonderful Life resonates with people. I know I’m not the only one to feel this way about their life. And don’t read this the wrong way – I’m not despairing. I am hopeful. I am simply constrained, through my own choice, to a smaller domain. I choose to be home, caring for my beloved, while he recovers. That’s not the same as being kept at home because leaving the house and having outside interactions threatens my partner, which was the case for many years in my life. I’m not there. I do however carry the scars from that, still. Perhaps always. I don’t know yet – can’t say what the future will bring because I’m only this far in my life.
I am looking at the near future, the lack of a solid prognosis for my loved one, and the Little Man being so totally immersed in his education through this coming March… which is also when my current work contract ends. I need to stay close to home. Conserve money and stack what we can into savings. We may need that cushion during all of these transitions and uncertainties, and for me to waste that pursuing dreams that aren’t solid necessities would be foolish.
I went out and watered the garden during my breaks this morning. One break for the front, the other for the back garden. The heat is taking a toll. Leaves are burnt to a crisp on the edges, the tender tops of the elderberries are killed entirely. One of the figs also seems to have scarring on the central leader, which likely means that one will become espalier-trained whether I meant to or not. It’s going to take me years to learn how to manage a garden here. Cold winters, hot summers, it’s an environment unlike any other I’ve lived in. That’s a new adventure for me, in it’s own small way. The plants will be fine, those that were put in the ground early enough in the wet season to grow a strong root system that will enable them to replace the leaves scorched by the sun. I’ll relearn my own boundaries, the places where I just can’t, for reasons physical or mental, and I’ll get pruned back voluntarily or involuntarily to fit into my place.
I can’t grow enough to feed us, on a town lot where we have the house and a very large outbuilding. I can supplement, and more important, I can give myself a place to absorb the peace of the garden. I can pick sun-warm strawberries and taste life’s sweetness, and remember that my life is tipped past the peak, and it’s all downhill from here. I’ve been where I’m going to go, done what I’m going to do. Now, the best things I can do are to support others who are still striving towards the pinnacle of their powers. Whether that’s my son, or friends, or my daughters, or even other writers.
Mine is a small world. A garden wrapped around a house, wrapped around a lot of paper. Paper that is sometimes for reading, and sometimes for writing, and some of it is blank, waiting. I have things to say, things to draw, and I have time to do those if I contain my impulses towards excitement and adventure, and pour my energy into the small creations at hand.