In th’ flower gardens out there things will be stirrin’ down below in th’ dark.

We recently bought new landscaping for the house, and so there was much digging and dirt hauling (by my husband) and much fretting (by me).

Were the plants planted too deep? Or not deep enough?

Did we  use enough peat moss?

Most of all, are we watering them right?

The nurseryman left us detailed instructions for watering. But I’m suspicious- Surely these new green things are thirsty.

Feed me, feed me.

What I’ve discovered is that the symptoms of overwatering are identical to the symptoms of underwatering. The curled leaves, the limp branches. You can’t tell the two conditions apart without getting your hands dirty and shoving your finger in the soil.

What is true for botanical life is true for the care and feeding of human beings. Trying too hard gets you the same results as not trying enough. Neglect leads to death. Smothering leads to death. Some die of thirst. Others experience rotting at the roots.

Right now I’m experiencing some self-inflicted rot. I’m drowning in self-pity and grief. The thing is, I could go a day without crying.

But at a certain level I’m afraid if I stop grieving, or more accurately take a break from grieving, then I’m betraying myself. I’m betraying the baby I lost, I’m betraying our hopes and dreams for our family.

If I don’t wail and rend my garments for one day about this, does that mean it’s not a big deal? That I should be over it? That it doesn’t matter any more? That it’s not important?

Of course not. But deep down I’m not sure the cells in my heart and my mind believe that yet.


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