I walked into the house this morning and casually mentioned to Justin that everything in the garden was “looking good...so far”. This wasn’t meant as an idle observation: I felt my voice become quiet and measured, as I imbued a simple sentence with layers of hope and even trepidation.
I planned this year’s garden last winter. As a tactile learner and thinker, this translated into sheets of paper covering our dining room table, stacks of books beside me, flipped over onto certain pages, with me hunched over my computer, cross-referencing my own knowledge with the internet hive mind. It was only in this reflection and planning that I fully understood last year’s garden. In the middle of the summer, I had the tunnel vision that’s necessary to focus on the immediate: which vegetables needed more water or nutrition, what had to be harvested that day, awareness of a crop that had been hopelessly attacked by slugs, and in-the-moment irritation at spacing or planning errors.
When I went to bed last night, I inadvertently rubbed my arm and felt something crusty and scaly: leftover dough stuck to my body, clinging there despite repeated washing of hands. I shrugged and rolled over, knowing that those dough remnants would soon mingle with new dough the following morning. When I woke, I grabbed the same flour and dough coated jeans and sweatshirt I’d worn the day before, pushing up the sleeves to reveal the small pieces of dough on my arm that I’d felt before bed.
Besides a week-long stretch when I was sick and lay on the couch watching the entire first season of Grey’s Anatomy, The Great British Bake Off is the closest I’ve ever come to obsessively binge-watching a tv show. Each time an episode ends, I strongly contemplate staying awake just so I can watch a collection of Brits stand in a nostalgically decorated tent and construct biscuit towers, 20 layer cakes, esoteric pastries that absolutely no one has heard of, and intricately designed sugar work.