Safe in my flower box garden?

I’ve been sticking close to home lately. It helps to manage anxiety and sadness to be in a safe, comfortable space. It’s a tradeoff because I feel lonely, but my projects are doing okay – cat food drive is helping a lot of folks, Q&As are booming, and occasionally people offer to come see me here.

I look out the window into the backyard and I imagine flowers blooming. Pots, boxes, shrubs, all of it. We’ve got to tear up the deck this summer because some of it is dilapidated, so probably more flower boxes.

I have empty pots and boxes, garden gloves, hand tools, and two water cans.

What I don’t have is the stamina to go to the garden center, unload everything, and plant 30 containers of flowers or more hostas or similar plants along the fence.

I wish for this. I wish for flowers and soil and beauty to fill the backyard and expand my safe, comfortable space. I wish for a garden to spring up in our backyard, a hundred containers with all sorts of flowers and colors. The literal embodiment of the seeds I’ve tried to plant.

In my childhood home, we had a lilac tree for many years until it ate the sewer pipe and had to be removed. We had a pussy willow tree. We had shrubs that bloomed into mini bridal bouquets and honey suckle. There were roses in the yard. And a planter filled with flowers. I took it all for granted.

I think that I would like that now – flowers I can see every day, blooms surrounding the deck to protect and ease my mind, living things that need water and tending.

It’s just getting from this place of isolation and anxiety to being able to create the flower box garden that feels impossible. The anguish and hurt of the world feel so real. I don’t want to be an empath right now, not until I work through more trauma processing. Then I will plant flowers again. For now, I’ll just have to imagine.


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