Almost two weeks ago I was talking to my mom about all of the plates I have – and keep – in the air, when she said, “You don’t have to accomplish everything.”
I have been thinking about that because I have found myself at a weird tension since a few months before this pandemic, and to be honest, a lot of things feel more like a continuation as opposed to a complete upheval. The tension part comes in because I have had to step back from a lot of things I am passionate about achieving to retool for the long haul, and that is hard for me because when I decide to do something, it gets done. and. then. some.
I guess it will have to get done more slowly and strategically, because while I have definitely been changed by the past four or five months, parts of me still have catching up to do.
Which is absolutely nothing new for living in the Pacific Northwest. Even during the first week of July, and that is wrong, but I opened a lot of the blinds as far as I could so I could shake that cave feeling from not having enough light. It was still dreary. I moved through my day getting things done and taking notes to get other things done. Then, around 6:30pm cracks started to form in the sky to show the blue that was just beyond our cloud layer the whole time. I bolted outside under the guise of picking up a package but it was really to assure myself that Summer was really here because I needed something to be at least normal in theory in these Covid streets.
- Emerald Isle. Cross Lake. Shreveport, LA.
It is difficult for me to believe that Saturday is going to be the 4th of July. My life is unrecognizable when I attempt to look back twelve months, much less 18 or 24. I still have hope. I still have joy. But so much is so different. I am truly sorry for the things I took for granted, but with each quiet moment I am making peace with permanent losses so I can be prepared for the opportunities that I know lie ahead.
This is not my herb garden, but a couple of days ago I decided that I want to get my herb garden going. Again. The last time I grew stuff I had cilantro, basil, lettuce and a few other things growing in the kitchen and the yard. I think all of the after school activities my children (and I) had going on diverted the focus I used to devote to it. I think this idea has been with me since I was at my parents’ house a few years ago for my sister’s wedding, where there were these amazing, regal okra plants growing in the back yard. They had to have been about 8 or 9 feet tall. They most beautiful thing about them, to me, was how they towered as a testament to the people my parents have always been.
When I was a little kid, Mom grew strawberries in the back yard. She has grown roses, succulents, ferns – and with Dad- peas, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and a huge fig tree that still stands in the back yard. They have cooked, canned and frozen some and given their friends or people in the community in need some. Some of my earliest and fondest memories of my South Louisiana family include my grandmother’s canned figs, munching on fresh sugar cane and the tons and tons of pecans we would take home with us from my great uncle’s orchard. A lot of times, I have these ideas that I think are great, new ideas, when they turn out not to be new ideas at all. At least not to me.