It’s a beautiful, cloudless day. The temperature is in the high forties and is
expected to be in the fifties all next week.
My husband made his annual trek to the garage attic this morning,
handing down posts and fencing and plastic containers. This afternoon, after the sun begins to warm the
back yard, Squints and I decide to put the garden fence up.
In this high-brow neighborhood, it’s a low-brow affair: Ugly
metal fence secured with white twine to green posts hammered into the ground
every three feet or so. And I keep
telling myself, as I do every year, I want to grow more; I want to do more; I
want to have more land.
I pause in my hammering and watch Squints tying the fence to
a post. Outside Cat pounces at the fence
and grabs at the twine. Squints laughs
and cuts a new piece of twine. “You’re
not going to get over this fence, Cat,” he says. “No more messing in the garden.” He pauses.
“Think I have any strawberries yet?”
“Can I look?”
He drops the twine and pulls back the straw we put down last
fall. I set down my hammer to join him
and discover that his strawberries have come through the winter beautifully.
And then I take a step back and look at our tiny, hopeful
garden and I tell myself it is enough for now: Squints is learning how to grow
his own food. He’s learning the cycle of
nature. He celebrates strawberries grown
in the back yard.
We finish and put away our tools and Squints runs over to
the neighbor’s house to play.
Not content to return to the house yet, I head to my
perennial bed where I cut away last summer’s foliage and find green shoots
peeking up from the ground.
Labels: Creative non-fiction, Gardening, Sons