After the fifteenth straight day of rain, the newness, the excitement of the garden is beginning to wear on me. It’s hard to do as Milli Vanilli says, however, because I do this with nearly everything I have ever attempted in my life - with or without the rain to blame. The once shiny anticipation of feeling tingly and alive in nature, of watching food grow, has slowly turned itself into a dark, thick rag knotted in the pit of my stomach, dragging at me. I don’t go outside that much. I’m bored with trying all the fixes – how to fix the yellowing leaves, the bugs nibbling the spring onions (what are those bugs, by the way? I have no idea. I’m too ambivalent to care). When I peek out and see the occasional squash-blossom giving it the old college try, I feel like it’s trying to cheer me up in the midst of my personal pity-party. I want to tell her, go away, not today, I’m looking to replace you with something a little more fun. I’m tired of worrying and fretting over every little detail.
I wander around the house, humid and sticky from all the rain, when I should be writing, or pitching, or weeding, or composting, and think of new projects. Something immediate and fresh would satisfy me right now, something that wouldn’t take lots of time but yield a large result. Like spraypainting. I’ve been thinking of things around here we could spraypaint - and there are many - and it would be so fun. Turquoise blue, white, and red. It would be quick and smelly and I could use my arms and really get into it. I could do it in the garage, in the middle of the day with all the lights on, the plum-purple skies threatening thunderstorms yet again, and again tomorrow, and again and again forever until I consider talking to my husband about moving to Seattle, and forgetting sunny Texas. We rarely see the sun anymore.
How many times have I had this feeling, this ache, to just dump what I’ve got and start over: apartments, wardrobes, careers. I look out the streaked windows of our sun room, the rain room I guess it is now, and wish the garden would go away. I wish it would get up and walk out of here and leave me alone, leave me to my overly messy house with bikes and bike helmets and bits of crayons and chewed-up doggie bones scattered helplessly in the shag carpet, the shag carpet that once looked so cool to me but now only looks dirty and sad. How many times have I abandoned a perfectly good project and walked away and never looked back just because things got hard. Or boring. I wouldn’t say vengefully, but maybe more like spitefully. No regrets.
The thick, glommy Texas mud clings to my veggie boxes and pots like a stalker. I consider in short bursts going out and at least cleaning them off with a spray of the hose, making them look more attractive to my wandering eye, but it continues to rain, making it pointless. Other more pressing tasks beckon. Suddenly washing the dishes looks too good to be missed. I organize the boys’ clothes in their closet according to season, then color. I know I’m avoiding.
I try to think of a way in which this despicable aspect of my personality turns out, Oprah-like, to be the one thing I really need right now. The ability to get up and walk away from what’s not working: how can I use it? What amazing problem will be solved with this mountain of impatience I’m too bored to climb?
Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.