How Does Your Garden Grow?

June is the season of opened earth in Vermont. Black soil, sandy loam, gray clay.

My daughters keep to the edges of my somewhat maniacal gardening — their interests along the photography and mowing aspects.

What grows and thrives and why? How can these bits of velvet petals emerge from stony soil, gnawed by earthworms and grubs? The scent of lilacs from gray branch, rain water, glacial till?

Perhaps this is the most curious aspect of spring — the mystery of growth — and perhaps why I’m content to let my daughters consciously (and unconsciously) busy themselves at their own lives, their hands not yet sunk in the soil, not yet at the place in their lives of nurture, weed, tend, their leaves and branches still spreading.

Try to plant
As for a child.
A little wild cherry tree.

— Basho


Cream Moon

The other night, my friend and I stand on my back deck, watching the moon rise above the black horizon, a curved sliver at first, then quickly revealing all her radiant round beauty. In the house, my daughters and their friends play a game at the table, eating brownies and laughing. Little white lights sparkle above their heads.

The next night, fever lies me low, and my girls are awake in the wee midnight hours, comforting an oddly crying cat. As I rise out of the fever now, I think of how glad I am to return to our life. Worn out before, as we all get — buried beneath the everyday accrual of putting together work and life and parenting, and the non-everyday weight of am I failing? — I’m simply glad to return to the jumble of our lives, in this somewhat sleep-starved life, keeping the midnight shift, reading in bed or wandering around to the windows to admire the moon. Oh, the autumn moon.

Children grew in their sleep. They were growing now, bones lengthening like bamboo.

— Melanie Finn, The Underneath


Photo by Molly S.