No matter how good a vacation I’ve had, I’m generally quite happy to be back in my corner of the world. There is truly nothing like the familiarity and comforts of home. Taking that first shower, settling into my own bed, making my coffee exactly the way I like it are reminders that I’m where I most love to be. Simple pleasures for which I’m enormously grateful. If I never went away I’d never know to appreciate how good I have it.
As much as I’m bursting to explore the garden, I usually take my time. Sometimes, I’ll delay it by as much as a day. Having first taken care of unpacking, laundry, awaiting mail, restocking the refrigerator and generally addressing matters to ensure domestic bliss, I turn my attention to the outdoors. With a degree of trepidation. While the house pretty much remains in the condition in which I left it, the garden appears to assume an alternative lifestyle. A devil may care, no holds barred attitude. If you’ve ever lived with a teenager then you know what I mean. So my hesitation to step into the garden is understandable.
Before this particular trip, I worked extra hard to get all the garden chores done. Weeding, mulching, trimming and tidying up were done with due diligence. Really. I took my leave feeling quite smug about how in-shape the place looked. How wild could it get in two weeks?
The answer is : plenty wild. All the rain that lavishly fed the garden must’ve been loaded with cloud borne super-fertilizer. Everything is out of control. The plants look like they’ve doubled in size. And the weeds! They have invaded, multiplied and conquered. I cannot recall them ever being this prolific. What on earth is going on? And I’d worked so hard to get the garden in order before going away! To absolutely no avail.
With so much to do and faced with an ongoing heat wave, I’m feeling rather disheartened. It is going to take many, many sweat drenched hours to restore some order and frankly, I’m not at all looking forward to it. I’m dreading the guaranteed bug bites and heat induced fatigue. And fully resent giving up a fair chunk of my lolling/reading time. How dare the garden mock my earlier efforts to groom it? Its enough to send me back inside and to the unfailing comfort of a pint ( or two) of ice-cream.
BUT, I refuse to throw in the trowel. I cannot let myself succumb. The garden has taught me well – to persist and never let anybody or anything stop me from going after my dreams. And I dream of a beautiful, life-affirming garden that nurtures and nourishes all who choose to be in it. So there.
The saving grace of this new jungle are the hydrangea and echinacea that are blooming with abandon. There is so much of the former that I’ve harvested arm loads to fill huge pitchers – they now adorn every room in the house. Such bounty, such bliss.
(c) 2015 Shobha Vanchiswar