New Growth


When the wave of extreme heat went through last weekend, I looked out into the garden and it looked as though a demon had passed through and blighted everything in its wake. The roses turned brown. The leaves of the amaryllis drooped so sharply in half that the tip of every leaf wilted and died. The tomatoes became spindly, yellow, brown, curled and mildewed. The basil became pale and spotted.

At the time, in the height of my Bad Mood (or in the depth of my depression, depending upon which extreme is more fitting) the sudden die off felt more than a little bit personal. And with the heat being so oppressive, I felt helpless to do anything about it except to keep watering and hope for the best.

‘Keep watering and hope for the best’ ought to be stitched onto a throw pillow.

At any rate, once the heat subsided enough to be tolerable, at least during evening hours, I went around the yard trimming back anything that was dead. I didn’t know if I was helping anything, but it helped me to feel like I was clearing out dry matter that wasn’t going to recover and, if it was actually blighted, might actually be making things worse.

I felt better when it was done.

I only managed to complete the front yard on that day, so this weekend I made an effort to begin the project out back as well. The tomato plants were especially worrying: they had suddenly transformed from lush, eight foot towers of tomato goodness to spindly Halloween vines with brown leaves and unhealthy looking fruit.

I took the clippers to one of them and trimmed away everything that looked dead or dying. Most of it fell away easily. I was pleased and relieved to notice that it was putting out tiny new suckers at each of the joints that I was trimming. It may have withered for a time, but it was ready to come back and it was already putting out new growth.

This feels personal too: I suspect that it is no coincidence that I’ve begun the task of clearing out the withered and dead parts of my self in an effort to make way for new growth. My mental state might still be a bit spare and spindly, but the new growth is coming to fill out the empty places.

Just keep watering and hope for the best.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 15, 2018.

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