This week, I came to see that in nursing the hole of Bronson’s passing, there were smaller, gaping wounds which had been left to haemorrhage unattended.
For instance, I had a beautiful garden when I lived in the country. Self-taught, Bronnie and I turned that space of just under an acre into an award-winning oasis. At once a beautiful thing to behold, it was also a place for family fun, the gathering of friends and, eventually, the venue for our wedding.
I left the farmhouse and that magnificent garden sagely telling anyone who asked:
“Yes, but that was a time and a place. A time to raise children and that place to do it in, but we now need to fashion a new life for ourselves.”
Wise words indeed, except my heart had not kept pace with my intellect on the matter. There was a hole which eight years of sage words wasn’t filling.
I inadvertently started to backfill that hole when I recently bought a houseplant. A silly little thing, but I tended it as though it were my newly born child. Any new development in its life had the power to blitz the bullshit of the working day away and transport me to that place of grace I have always felt when plant tending, writing or taking photographs.
I’m not sure why I made room for the latter two but discounted horticulture in my life. One possible answer is that gardening was something Bronnie and I did together and, thus, too painful to revisit alone.
That one houseplant was joined by two, three, then others, culminating in a weekend of fashioning troughs on all the apartment window sills so I could ring in the seasons as bulbs blossomed, had their hurrah, died back and then made way for other bulbs to have their seasonal 15 minutes.
Although my apartment is still without a garden, I do now have an apartment teeming with plant life. I even changed the cushion covers to mimic the surrounding flora in the apartment, and every morning I wake up to my “babies” and my heart feels glad.
Just as “truth will out,” I have come to see nature will also out. That we can bury our feelings and who we are only until nature decides it’s time to dig them up again. That one of the basic human needs to keep growing will push upwards through the deepest grief and demand to be tended.