The first seed catalogs are out. “Never too early to plan your garden!” Right about this time of year, I start salivating/squealing/budgeting/dreaming about planting my garden. In the cold–often in the snow–I plot out nascent planting beds, envision foliage coloration through the seasons, consider height and sunlight, ease of care. Last year I created a brand new raised planting bed in front of my house–all by myself!–and this year, I planned to add an oak-leaf hydrangea to the assortment, just under the edge of the crab apple tree, in the sunny corner behind the stump.
But this year, I may not get the opportunity to plan or plant a garden. Because of our upcoming move, we may be gone or in the process of moving at the height of the garden season.
Just to admit that to myself is causing me deeply felt pain, an ache for all the days in sunshine I will lose. This will be the first spring I don’t rip open my garden plot reservation form with glee on February 1, giddy with the thought that the frozen ground will soon be thawed, rich and loamy. The first year I don’t shop for a rototiller to buy–and then, when I can’t afford that, as I invariably can’t, to rent, and then, I will ultimately consider borrowing, but that never happens. I always end up tilling the plot by hand.
So I will watch the seed catalogs collect in the recycle bin, and I will sigh over the Lost Summer ahead of me, and I will say goodbye to another tradition I’ve created for myself in this hometown into which I’ve grudgingly become embedded.
I know there will be more moments like these as I realize the great letting go that has to happen. I’ve already had many. They’re fleeting but painful, jabs to the gut, reminders that despite my resistance, I have a lifetime of memories here. I’ve never gone through a change on this scale, or with this much forethought. The gears of this move are beginning to grind slowly through the grist of my life. This is going to hurt.
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