Yesterday I read a blog that asked if the reader has any gardening disappointments this year. Is he kidding? “Gardening” and “disappointment” go together like echinacea and Japanese beetles.
This is my third gardening season here; if you are a gardener, you know the third season is the beginning of seeing the garden as your own. For me, two distinct garden worlds: a bit shady in the front, a lot sunny in the back. Yes, Indiana clay and nasty root systems, exuberant invasives, malicious rabbits and chipmunks. But gradually mine.
Problems with a contractor have made it impossible for me to plant anything in the back this summer. All I have is a struggling collection of gangly seedlings with no place to grow. Empty tomato cages. No frilly yellow blossoms morphing into reds and golds. Not merely disappointment: it’s loss.
Gardeners survive the winter because they know a garden is coming, so when the garden fizzles the gardener kind of fizzles too. She might even let slip an imprecation. Maybe two.
Not everyone is a gardener, of course, but everyone has disappointments. And losses. It seems to me they are all felt more deeply this year because isolation is fertile ground for deep feelings.
So we cope, best we can, with emptiness where there should be life, and watch disappointment become loss, but we should never underestimate the toll it’s taking on us.