Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tracy's Garden

The little woman crouches over the flowerbed, loosening the soil with a rusty spade while carefully arranging dried leaves and vegetable peels around the base of the plant before covering up the “compost” with the loosened soil. She repeats these actions as she moves from plant to plant, until the bag holding her “compost” is empty. The relentless summer sun beats down on her exposed arms and legs, her skin bronzed from hours spent outdoors. Occasionally she stands up to ease the ache in her legs and wipes the sweat from her brow, taking a few seconds to look at the vegetation surrounding her. Satisfied with the “compost”, she fetches a bucket of water, saved from everyday household use and waters each plant, making sure not one drop is wasted. If it is late in the day near supper time, she will harvest ripened produce after taking a few minutes to contemplate what to present on the supper table that night. Finally, taking her selection, she heads back into the little house, starting the preparation of food for the two or three people who will dine together that night. This little woman is my mother, Tracy, and this is the story of her vegetable garden.