Every three months I take a week off and inevitably my clients ask me — somewhat fatuously, I can’t help noting — “where I am going to go.” “Out back,” I say.
I have outgrown all desire to put my fate in the hands of random strangers and reverted to the disposition of my youngest years, when the layers of differently colored soil strata in the vacant lot behind my house suggested an infinite universe of possibilities. I like my little plot of ground, full of species that I could not begin to catalog.
I spent yesterday and today wrestling the overgrowth, assisted part of the time by sweated teenage labor (it’s amazing what kind of dedication you can get for a few bucks an hour and a big bowl of raspberries). Every spring brings a new adventure and there is a long way to go, but as of last evening I can at least report with delight that the bats are back. Dusk is a good moment for my little jungle.
At some point, my white azalea cross-pollinated with the pink ones a short distance away. The result is eclectic and original.
I am grateful for the opportunity these living things offer me to work in the open air until my back locks up. I don’t know if I can explain it or if you had to be there.