As a new mother, I was surprised by the weight of children; even babies, carried all day long, are heavy, and nursing in the nighttime, my arms often drooped with exhaustion. While my daughters are long since beyond the babes-in-arms stage, all afternoon yesterday I carried buckets of mulch and compost, bent with my hoe and scythe, and tugged my garden back from wilderness into domesticity: for a brief bit of time.
Step away, and the raspberry canes will run their way back. Creeping buttercup – or creeping crowfoot – proliferates knottily.
May is the season of optimism. I’ve planted melons for my watermelon-loving daughter, and promised to water well. The vertical territory of my beds lies low yet; visit in a few months and – like growing children – the vines will be lushly magnificent, the peppers spread out and holding hands, the bachelor buttons in bloom. May, like mothering, is the season of patience, too.
I’ve always preferred the woods in America to the woods where I grew up in Hampshire, which I can never help knowing are the hemmed-in exception to towns and villages and farms. New England is the other way around: a series of clearings in a forest. Keep walking north, and the clearings will shrink, until there are none.
Adam Haslett, Imagine Me Gone