I used to tell people jokingly that our house just happened to be in my garden. This is no longer a laughing matter though as I enter into that next phase of deciding what to do with my life and my belongings—even the green ones.
Yes, divorce takes time. I see that now. It’s not like I will wake up tomorrow and the instant nearly overnight beauty of the mature Japanese maple and some choice tulips will be what my life will look like. I think my current new growth will take some time.
As I grow I will observe, and not judge. Like a gardener tending to a new plant, I will decide what kind of growing conditions are needed and I will watch and wait. If I need to be moved somewhere else to flourish, I will be moved.
Recently, as I’ve been walking around Portland I’ve been thinking about the similarities and differences I have with plants, and the activity has been more informative than I’d imagined it would be and so much more positive than several of the alternatives…
The Laburnum tree that I grew from seed didn’t take long at all before it started to put on its show.
I won’t grow at that rate though and I am alright with that.
For those who know me you’re bound to agree that I can be as tacky and as flashy as the hot pink Azaleas people are always trying to get rid of in the FREE section of Craigslist—at least they do this in the Portland area.
I am part Italian after all and I do love to be a bit over the top at times.
Then there is a lot about me that needs to be looked at closely to be examined and I have to examine it regularly myself. Sadly this does make me a bit of a ruminator, but just so long as my illness stays in remission and I can take that ruminating behavior to the streets, it’s not at all the issue it can become when I am required to be physically inactive due to my health problems.
I know this now and it is the teeny bit of green I’m currently proud to wear. (At least here I have seen growth—lots of it!)
There are also those dainty girl moments which I’ve been having far more of recently. They don’t need to be discussed here necessarily, but let’s just say that my friend pampered me and she took me to have a mani/pedi in California and it was great fun for a change. I had no idea either that an eyebrow waxing could be as exciting as pruning a shrub but there you go. I learned something completely new!
Overall I do feel like the special plant, unusual, hard-to-find, maybe a bit damaged and bruised on the sale rack right now. I am that item most gardeners will pass up because I cost too much, or look a bit odd and my novelty may not come in the correct color for their garden. Ok, I might even need a bit of extra care and attention.
Looking at my illness this way has been a relief. Honestly it has been because I think all of what I just wrote is very true for many of us living with chronic illness.
Sometimes I burst open at the seams a bit and explode like my Clematis did while I was in California. That’s ok too I think, and maybe it makes me more common, and less likely to be as delicate as I sometimes think that I am.
Things I will never go without though as I change and grow will be my tall boots and my odd choice of hot pink luggage with polka dots. Life is too short to be dull and colorless.
This is at my core. These items will remain at my center. They are part of what identify me as who I am.
My humor is also at the center of who I am and remembering why I’m called Annie, and how much I love hearing it with an Irish brogue. This too is part of where I come from and I am proud to have known some very amazing Irish priests.
Lastly, to help me as I grow I will not miss out on my deepest and darkest of treats. There are many foods which I love, but my love of pommes frites with truffle oil, parmesan cheese, and squid ink aioli reaches such depths that I truly would be lost without them.
So yes, it’s an in between phase for me. I am growing but it is slow and as I do so I am noting what characteristics define me and where I am best suited in the design of things. In all seriousness, thinking like this has been far more beneficial than any book or online posting I’ve read about the divorce process. I guess I really do just see things through nature and plants, and yes, I really do still believe that the house just happens to be in my garden.
I just don’t know yet if I can grow here anymore.