Let's stop pretending this is a cute little howdy-do kind of blog. I've always been fairly gut wrenching in my explanation of my life on these pages. I'm sorry for tip-toeing earlier.
I noticed my old blog "Outlaw Gardener" picked up another follower. I haven't written for it since May. The pictures on the last blog are so outdated, so sparse, of a land that had not yet grown to its full potential. I read the last blog, and I remembered that small part of my pain that I keep to myself most of the time because I can't imagine who would understand. I'm just going to let it go now. If I talk about it outside of my head and my walks, during which I cry very briefly and quietly on occasion, perhaps I can more efficiently let it go. So, here it is:
When I moved here, I wanted so badly to be a part of what Brad was doing at the restaurant and winery. I felt so utterly useless most of the time. Everyone had a place but me. I begged to help out, but was rebutted. I don't know why. I cannot fathom any reason, but I do not share a mind with my past loves. I can only see my part and try in some way to see his.
I planted a garden. I planted a garden for him. And I say it like it was nothing, but it was everything. Every single day for a year I spent 4+ hours on 2 acres. I walked with no shoes when the ground was newly tilled, soft, wet from the torrential rain of October 2009 that washed trenches through my spinach rows. I wore nothing but clothing stained in the mud and clay because there was no point in wearing anything else. I trudged through the creek, carried pails of water back and forth because it took a year to secure a working irrigation system. I dug ditches. I pulled weeds. I hurt. I sweat. I froze. I worked in the rain and snow. I watched the weather. I woke up in the morning, every morning, in anticipation of the first frost. And in February, I awaited the end of the cold. I know what the earth feels like when it's frozen. I know when it's ready to give. I had no idea what I was doing, but I did everything I thought would help. And every day, I waited for him to come and to see what I had done.
But he didn't. And every day I wrestled with my own anonymity. The hidden member of the family. Alone in the garden. I begged for a raise to make ends meet, but I was refused. My work wasn't important to anyone...but me.
When Jenni told me she was leaving, I cried. Jenni was my help. She was scared to make decisions most of the time, and that made me crazy, but she was inspiring and comforting. She truly gave of herself to the earth. But she hated it here, and when she left, I cried out loud because I hated it too. Because no one saw nor heard me. At least, that's how I felt.
So, everything fell apart, despite my efforts to hang on, it hurt so terribly much to be invisible. So I let go, but I kept working for him. I couldn't let the garden go. And I brought in someone that I thought I could trust to replace Jenni. Someone that I enjoyed. Someone that I knew could teach me.
Over a period of three months, I was gradually pushed aside. I did get to see the fruits of a year's labor. I enjoyed it too. I learned so much about myself. I learned so much about life, and for that I am so grateful. I had one of the best jobs anyone can ever have. Trust me.
But I had to let it go. And I still cry about it. I still feel like I'm a part of those two acres. When I started digging the beds for the fall garden in August 2009 by myself, I would sit in my car when it rained and draw pictures of what I had done, and what I envisioned for the future.
The garden taught me how to be an artist again. It taught me to take risks, to dig in, to work hard, to hurt. It reminded me of how it felt to be a child, and it quelled my fears.
I quoted Emerson in my first blog post on Outlaw Gardener:
Our age is retrospective...Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?...Embosomed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to-day [sic] also.
For a year, I rested in the arms of nature and let the floods of life stream around and through me; thus, I cannot continue to grope among the dry bones of the past. I have been invited to action proportioned to nature, to action as mighty as the earth and her workings. The sun shines today also. And I am grateful for that.