I’m not quite sure if I have a little bit of post-holiday spring fever. I seem to have an idea every time of what I’m going to post, and the last few times, I’ve dismissed it due to being drawn to a more springlike poem. We all need some thoughts of greenery in January, I guess. Probably more than the the fact that the poems seem to be set in spring, is the idea of rebirth that flows through us as we enter into a new year. The idea that we’re planting seeds that are going to bring us a fruitful harvest, a year of fresh berries, a season of tranquil afternoons. I wrote this poem toward the end of a long book of poems I wrote a few years ago. I like to end things with hope. The collection of poems I wrote it in is a ‘hopeful collection.’ I find that just as I might need a sad poem to give me peace or comfort on something, a hopeful poem is equally needed. To me this poem is about acceptance. It’s a picture of two people who have been through some stuff, lived some life, and I just saw them in a garden together. In meeting with lots of different clients, I hear a lot about relationships. I remember one time I saw a woman whose first and longest marriage, which she had her only children from, was extremely abusive. She finally got out of the marriage and met a man that she really loved. When she talked about this relationship, she lit up. I knew without her saying that this was the ‘love of her life.’ Tragically, that relationship was cut short when the man passed away in an automobile accident. It was the shortest relationship of her life, but it definitely was the one that she longed for and missed the most. When we met, she was older and had been in a relationship with a man, whom she never married. They were together for quite a long time. She often described it as a ‘relationship of companionship.’ She was very at peace with who this man was to her and he to her. I think of her often because of the three very unique relationships she had in her life and how they each brought their own sense of wisdom, love, and acceptance. I feel like she was in the back of my mind when I wrote this poem. What I like about the poem is thinking about who these two individuals are to each other. Are they younger individuals, who have maybe dated and finally found someone they are just at peace with, hoping it will blossom into a lifetime love affair or are they older and have been through many turbulent relationships and now are enjoying the acceptance of the company of someone who simply accepts them as they are? I imagine it in different scenarios; however, I wanted it to be clear, that they both are at this place of hope. Together, creating this simple garden, which gardening is a simple act of hope when you’re planting, is the sun shining down on them as they not only plant the garden but realize how wonderful it is to share an experience with someone. The idea of them watching the garden throughout the spring into summer, the same way they watch, wait, and share experiences with one another, hoping for a beautiful garden/relationship brings a smile to my face. Perhaps they’re not lovers at all and are just two very old friends realizing the joy of sharing an experience together. I don’t know. I think the possibility is open, and I love that in all scenarios, there’s the hope that we all have, which is that at whatever point we’re at, there’s someone out there who would enjoy just spending time in our company.
One day maybe all this substance will matter.
We will stroke each other’s arms and it will mean something other
Then, ‘it’ll all be ok.” We will be
Studied trees by that time, thing to guide,
To shade, to be placed on maps, and to rest under.
No longer some imitation of dangerous weather or disaster.
No longer some sort of rabid pack animal.
It is possible there will come this moment
When we will not feel as fragile and violated as the Ozone layer,
When weather will become the product of something other than
Human’s stain on our fragile ecosystems.
All the fear in our eyes will come to pass:
Abandonments, betrayal, disgrace, loss, abuse.
We will arrive at conclusions. We have survived on something other than chance.
It will be a day when we will really dig our first flowerbed,
A sweet, early May morning,
Stitching a blanket of flowers and plants into the ground
To cover all the sleeping, lost selves we have buried.
We will yawn and stretch in a sun that has kept us
Smelling the fruits of our labor.
The lavenders, the lilac, and the hyacinth
We have endured and longed for.
Perhaps, you will look at me and make me realize
Everyone was wrong about me.
Your eyes will remind me it is the gestures in life we wait for,
The glances that underline passages in the textbooks of our thoughts;
We return to reread over and over again
When there is no room in the dark for self-appreciation or acceptance.
Kneeling in the dirt with you, I will realize
I will never be free of dirt. Then again, why
Would we ever want to be free of that which fertilizes life?
When you dig to plant something, you realize the ground is inexplicably deep.
It gives you perspective on how far we have to dig, to go
In order to get to the core of something.
Digging next to you, there is no need to get to that core;
You embody the truth. Top soil can provide enough nourishment to support life.
Perhaps that is all I have been searching for all these years
Just validation that when I can not go deep enough, get to the core
Something still can grow and will feed me.
Perhaps, it is just that we are here together on our knees,
Planting this garden that says
We both want to stay long enough to see
What we’ve sowed together, become fruit.