One day the mulch covered the ground, dense and moist, an earthy covering for a new garden. Today, weeds sprouted everywhere. This seemed like an allegory of recent life.
Dirt under fingernails, the smell of damp earth, I pulled on shallow roots, plucked them with ease, until one pricked my fingers. Ouch. Microscopic spines lost themselves under my flesh. Time to quit, take a breather and wander the garden.
Two months later, the sculptural beauty of succulents seemed more pronounced. Orange milkweed leaned toward the lichen-spotted rock, both sharing colors.
Feathery fronds on the Mimosa branches danced. Two lizards skittered across the pebbly patio floor, diving into a crimson mound of bougainvillea.
Tiny buds unfolded on the thin branches of the peach and tangerine trees. Green leaf flags from the birches waved a good morning.
Around the corner of the stucco wall, a baby rose bloomed sunshine among glossy leaves. A spiral of fragrance rose. Breath of beginnings.
Maybe it sounds simplistic to think the beauty of a garden can rectify the unruliness of the political scene or the horrors of terrorism in the world. It doesn’t.
But as I walk in my garden today, I take in the beauty and restore myself. I think of how I can be of service to someone, promise myself to practice more random acts of kindness.
More weeds will poke through the mulch and I’ll pluck them out. The trees will leaf up, the lizards will grow bigger, more roses will bloom.
I wait in my garden of hope.