A gentle slap upside the head with love
Last Wednesday I took off from work – Commencement at a large college campus means no point in trying to get any work done. Lazed around, drank coffee. When I was just about to get in the shower, the doorbell rang. I dressed fast, ran downstairs, and found the UPS guy looking like he was stealing Mya's broken umbrella from outside her door. What he was doing was trying to set it up over a big box on my stoop, in case it rained.
And oh, the box: a big huge enormous care package of gardening stuff from a bunch of friends, women I hang out with online – some of whom I know in real life, some of whom I’ve never met, but all of whom are lovely, lovely people. One woman organized it, everyone chipped in. Books and seeds and gift certificates, catalogs and magazines, gloves and buckets and a stuffed doggie with a patch over one eye that looks exactly like Dorrie, a tomato starting kit, hand therapy, a big red tin heart to hang, a tiny angel, rocks from someone’s yard. Herbs, vegetables, flowers. A bunch of beautiful things so that I can go ahead and grow some beautiful things. It was love in a box. More gifts trickled in over the next few days – herbs, seeds, a book on raised beds, a deluxe-o trowel.
You know when I opened that box, I cried. My first thought was that I don't deserve such sweetness and generosity, that I’m not so deprived, even though I know that's not why they did it. They just saw the chance to be sweet to someone – me – and do a good thing. But it was also a sharp reminder of my serious good fortune in this world. I bitch all the time about not making enough money, and this and that, but really – it’s a rich and good life I have. Any choices I've made that have flattened my wallet have made my life as a whole better, no doubt whatsoever. And so I appreciate not just the wonderful stuff in the box but the reminder of that fact, and the means to look out my kitchen window every day and remember it. All summer long, it will serve as my gentle slap upside the head with love.
So I have dug up the earth and I have planted seeds. I have worked in composted manure and the first batch of our own compost, dug out from under the bin. I have watered with the new hose, and I have ordered some more stuff from various catalogs to round things out. I’m thinking I might need to make a trip to Home Depot and pick myself up some low fencing material… those are all pawprints you see in my nicely turned earth. Damn.
We’ll see what comes up. But I am just tickled to death to know such kind people, and to have a reason to get out there in the sun every weekend and play in the dirt.