I love, and have always loved, the idea of gardening. There is something primal and elemental about playing in the dirt, about coaxing life from the ground, and then nurturing life, nourishing it into plants, and blossoms or fruit.
But in truth, beyond the idea of gardening, I have never actually dug around in the dirt or done any planting, and I can barely keep a cactus alive. Plus, I am too lazy and impatient to coax anything green. I understand how much time it takes to grow … well, everything, but I have a very limited amount of patience, and I save all of it for people, not for things. Imagine if I give my effort and patience for a plant, yet growl and bark at my husband or kids if they require my attention? These priorities would be all screwed up. Besides, gardening takes work, real work, and physical labor, … and I am dead set against that. There’s nothing wrong with working out, or walking, or swimming — but that’s not exactly bricklaying, is it. And while exercising hard can be a good thing, I draw lines at true physical labor. I might have an allergy to it — but we’ll never find out, because I’m not going to go anywhere near there.
Usually we do have a little container garden in the summer, consisting primarily of tomato plants and a few assorted veggies. But my husband is the one to take care of it, doing the planting, watering and harvesting. I get to eat the results.
And yet, one of my most memorable dreams I ever had involves a garden — a garden I don’t even get to see. The whole dream is golden yellow-tinged. I am looking at the ground, and around me, it’s all in this desert town. The small, sand-blasted street, the steps I take, the walls made of some kind of sand stone. I see a gate ahead of me, made of wood painted a bright sun yellow, and I am about to go up the three steps and open the gate, but I never do. I wake up. Yet I knew, and still know, that beyond that gate lies a lovely, green and shaded garden, with a small fountain in the center.
I had that dream more than 20 years ago, but it stayed with me, and I think of it from time to time. I never cared for the desert, never visited these arid, parched places. Hell, I haven’t even been to Great Sand Dunes National Park, located here, in Colorado. I am much more of a rain girl, comfortable in the metal-gray skies and thundering storms. So I cannot understand why I find my old dream so appealing, or why I still remember it so vividly, while other dreams came and went, forgotten even if I took the time to write them down. Maybe it’s because this dream goes against my nature that makes it so memorable. Maybe, in my previous life, I used to be the maker of gardens, a cultivator of green, living things. Whatever the reason, I have always loved the idea of gardening. Too bad I’ve never loved the actual work.