Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A gentle slap upside the head with love

It was a bit of a lean winter here at Casa Mappa Mundi. Not the end of the world, not foreclosure lean – just, y’know, frugal. So when people asked me what kind of plans I had for my garden, aka my yard, aka the unruly part of my property that doesn’t have a house on it, I said I was going to give it a rest and spend the summer just messing around in the dirt, picking out the rocks and glass that have been my best crop so far and playing with the compost. I didn’t really have the funds allocated for any garden center visits, and that was cool.

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.



Blogger Kitt said...

Sweet! Now that was worth procrastinating for.

1:34 AM  
Blogger techgeisha suess said...

She blogs! Yay! I'm ogling all the cute photos of the kids, and the rest of your family. The garden entry of the box of love just made me get a lump in your throat and tears in my eyes. I happen to know someone who has sent wonderful care packages to me, out of the blue that just blew me away like that.


Love you.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Suess, honey, thank you for that. I do love being the recipient of so much good will, but it's nice to remember that I've been on the giving end as well, and will be there again.

Kitt, are you packing?

10:15 PM  
Blogger Kitt said...

Alas, no, I'm slaving away (er, when I'm not checking blogs) at work instead.

But I'll pack more when I get home. A co-worker gave me a huge stash of boxes.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Alecto said...

That was one gorgeous post. Thank you.

7:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you. That was the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me, I think.

7:41 PM  

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