Kneeling next to my onion patch, overwhelmed, fighting back tears, struggling to pull vineweed without pulling out the tender onions that are being strangled. Every morning I’m out here trying to rescue my onions and every morning the weeds have grown back thicker.
I want to give up.
But something deep inside me says this isn’t about onions or weeds. And that walking away will mean more than losing my onions. So I kneel at the edge of the patch between my onions and my potatoes and cry.
“Why is this so hard?”
I know where these thoughts are leading me, and I try to keep my head down. Try to focus on what I’m doing right now. It’s only onions. It’s only weeds.
But I do look up. I look up to the corn that has been overwhelmed by grass. I had read something about tilling well, planting thick and not worrying too much about the weeds because the corn will shade them out soon enough. It wasn’t working. The clover had grown in so thick it was shading out the little stalks and they were so thin and weak from lack of sun, I was having difficulty telling them apart from the grass.
They were planted too thick to weed with a hoe. I had a vague notion that if I could pull the weeds back a little, the corn would take off and all the work we had put in to planting it would not have been for nothing.
I crawl forward, leaving my onions for the corn. I look for the first corn plant so I can find the row and begin pulling the weeds back. Only I can’t find it. From one morning to the next, the weeds have grown in so thick I can’t tell where I worked only yesterday.
I collapse there between my onions and my corn, screaming at the weeds. Screaming at life. And then I give up.
I say to my garden as I walk straight through the corn. Straight through the beans. Straight to the gate with no care for what I trample.
I walk in the garage to get the mower. The keets and chicks scatter in their brooder as I fling open the door. I look at them and try to remember how it was when they were but a plan on paper, a part of my Master Plan. But I can’t. All I see is their little bodies scattered about the property. Like the geese. The ducks. The chickens. The ducklings.
I feel my jaw set, my heart harden as I prepare the mower for what I’m about to do.
I think about my Master Plan and wonder why I ever thought I could do this. Of all the things I’ve lost since Mattias’ death, the hardest has been the future. I used to look forward to life. To the adventure of the everyday. I wasn’t just the-glass-is-half-full type. You could give me an empty glass and I would look forward to all the things I could someday fill it with.
But now it doesn’t matter what’s in the glass nor how full it is. If I think about it too much, it all tastes bitter.
To be continued . . . and I promise this has a happy ending . . .
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