Friday, April 15, 2011

I've been working very hard on my yard this year. At the beginning of the year, I thought I might be leaving in the fall -- to go away to school -- and that this was my last spring and summer in the yard. It was a hard realization to have because it brought home all of the transformational work I've done to the yard over the past seven years. Literal blood, sweat and tears have gone into my yard -- along with it much Advil & "recovery" cocktails after long days' work.

It hit me that I might not actually be ready to say goodbye to it yet. As much as parts of the yard -- the messes, the failures, those "problem areas" and things left undone -- as much as they frustrate, disappoint or infuriate me to the brink of throwing up my hands and saying "screw it - let me move to the city to a place without this upkeep," I realized I would really miss it. I also realized that now hile I'm on my own & not bound to opinions of others, I'm finally fully in control.

While I've always picked the plants & dictated the design in my past, married life, I still would always get distracted by the projects of others instead of addressing the areas that bugged me. I'm not putting blame on the other person in the relationship; I'm merely saying "It happens." Whenever there are two people involved, there are usually two sets of ideas and you run the risk of losing a cohesive, overall vision. Some couple have gelled (similar or cooperating) visions, others let one person direct. Other couples have competing visions.

Yet none of that is an issue anymore. If I want to fix something, I fix it. If I want to do something, I do it. Boom -- CHANGE. And I did it. In taking control of things, I also take pride...more pride. I even started taking more pride in all the work I did while in my last relationship. I'm more proud to admit: "I designed that," "I picked those color palettes," "I picked those plants." I also can admit, "I tried that. It didn't work. But I think I learned why."

I want to make things work where they didn't before. I want to learn more, do things with more thought. I want to invest in quality projects -- things that last. I'm willing to spend where it counts. These are all things I've learned this time around. And this time, I'm in control.

Of course, I'm human & I want everything "perfect" right now. But I have to remind myself it won't be and that that really takes the true gratification our of it. As I looks to the yard, at each part and say "I did that. I built that. That took 2 weekends. That took 2 years," my heart wells up. I created something -- it's an ongoing project -- but it's mine. My own little world, imperfect yet beautiful, in my hands & of my heart.

Photo 1: The backyard today, April 2011.
Photo 2: The backyard today, April 2011.
Photo 3: The backyard "BEFORE" - Spring 2004.