“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist
The view from our kitchen window is different than it has ever been in the 12 years we have lived in this very old house. It’s also different from outside the house, which is located on a busy corner, in a neighborhood that bustles with children and dog walkers and moms who are always in a hurry to get somewhere.
“It’s a new water main,” we keep telling neighbors, who are stunned by the state of our very visible construction zone (and worried that a similarly expensive repair might be coming their way). Just a few days ago, it was a raucous-if-going-dormant cottage garden. Now, instead the meadowy autumn remains of trumpet vine and hogweed and hostas and lilies, there is a long line of raw earth that stretches from the alley through the lawn and around the side of our house.
“Let it settle for at least two weeks,” the contractor said. At the time, we were so dazzled by the return of running water, such a schedule sounded reasonable.
Then came the walkers and their constant questions. And deer sneaking in through a gap in the picket fence to assist with the pruning. And muddy dog footprints all over the kitchen.
We have a bit of a hot mess. And, a hot opportunity.
Just this morning, my husband was admiring photos of a garden designed by a Scandinavian art type. Clean lines. The simplicity of nature with only the lightest touch of a gardener’s hand.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” he asked. I agreed and we shared a look that seemed to confirm something. What the garden will be is not what the garden was.
The garden that was — busy with bees and butterflies and utterly endless pruning — was wonderful for a season. But, that season is over.
So, we will smooth things over as best as we can for now and spend the winter plotting. With garden books and cups of hot coffee and the enthusiasm that can only emerge during a time of dormancy.
Hot opportunity, indeed.