For several years my wife and I have wanted to get rid of our front lawn and xeriscape the space instead. This summer we finally did it. Honestly, it was mostly my wife, but I did shovel a fair bit of mulch as part of the process. In addition to her own shovel work, she arranged for beautiful cedar planter boxes to be built, soil and mulch to be delivered, and then planted several fruits and vegetables. She watered regularly, we both pulled weeds, and waited for our food to come in.
We had one small bunch of grapes, which was amazing to me considering that we’re in Saskatoon, but my wife has successfully grown a few different varieties of tomatoes, some potatoes, peas, carrots, and a few onions. The rabbits in the neighbourhood ate her cauliflower, but overall we’re all impressed with what’s grown in our front yard, and she didn’t didn’t get to plant anything until after summer had started as we had to build the garden. Next year she’ll start planting earlier.
Today, while out-and-about, I saw one of those portable signs with the fluorescent letters with a quote from Audrey Hepburn. It said:
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
She was right. When you put seeds in the ground, or even started plants, you still have to wait for things to grow. There is no instant food (or flowers, or trees). Gardening requires planning and patients, and a belief that you’ll be around to enjoy what grows.
It’s like, when you can, saving for retirement or your children’s post-secondary education. We plan birthday parties and weddings. We do these things with the expectation that tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and even the next decade will come and we’ll be here to see what we’ve planted grow into something delicious or otherwise wonderful.
These days, it may be hard to have that belief. There’s the pandemic, political turmoil, economic woes, fires, etc. It’s a lot. If you are someone who had trouble believing in tomorrow when things weren’t this chaotic, I know that now must make having that belief even harder.
When I was deep in my depression, both my wife and therapist told me to make plans for the future. Make plans with friends for the following week. Make plans for a vacation a few months away. Give yourself something to look forward to. That’s harder these days because many people, most people are travelling and we have to stay at least six feet from out friends.
It’s hard, but do it anyway. Make plans to video chat, talk on the phone, or get together with friends or extended family in a place you can sit safely apart. Make plans for trips in the future. Where do you want to visit when you can travel again?
Plant a garden, even it’s just a few herbs on your kitchen windowsill.
Believe in the future and give yourself something to look forward to.