A Really Lovely Afternoon

September 20, 2010

Kristin and Maeve came for a visit today. I met Kristin, a teacher at Andrew, through Eliza and she became interested in this project – my garden. Maeve is her daughter, a tiny little doll, at the magic age of smiles, endless, sunny “hi”s and baby tricks. She is perfectly aware of where her belly is and will happily show you.

It is so satisfying to see my garden through new eyes. There is always amazement when I relate that our backyard was all grass B.M. (Before Me) and I love that the changes I wrought are appreciated.

Kristin was a most satisfying person to take on a tour of my garden.

She asked about the different plants and listened to the answers. She agreed that hydrangeas are overblown and needy, loved the majesty of the pampas grass. When buffalo roamed and the deer and the antelope played, pampas grass grew everywhere, thick and clean and pure. I love that I can bring a bit of that to my backyard and I really enjoyed the way Kristin liked it too. She walked through the bed to breathe in the autumn clematis. She was charmed by the Accidental Acorn Squash too.

We wandered to the front, Tony having so much fun with Maeve, walking around the house, into the house, up and down the stairs, out the front door, back down the drivewalk, playing a laughing peeking game in the lacrosse net. I love to watch this little girl, her hair in crooked pigtails (“the daycare did her hair, not me!” says Kristin), her rear waggling as she walks. She is a happy baby, outgoing and sociable. She is also at the perfect age for baby fun – I couldn’t give in to what I’d really like to do, which is squeeze her up, read books, play trains, sing songs and color and really not pay much attention to the adults in the room. While I can do that with family babies, it’s a little strange – and terribly rude – with friends and I have to restrain myself harshly.

I felt the need to apologize for the downward trend of the garden and we talked about vegetables and how growing watermelon is really a disappointment. She asked how long the beans had been planted and replied, “wow!” when I said it was only a few weeks. When I pointed out the spinach, she laughed at how much it really did look like spinach. We both marveled at the weirdness of brussel sprouts.

She remarked how our yard is an oasis and I agreed. It is a paradise of my own making; everyone should feel this way about their home. Hopefully, I can see her garden which she says is a real mess right now. The funny thing is that I feel the same way about mine; I see so many things that need to be trimmed and cut back and thinned and transplanted. Kristen seems to have hopes and ambitions for her plot and I in turn hope they come true.

She told me a story about visiting her childhood home and about how powerful that had been for her. She is truly tapped into her emotions and not afraid to be human, be open and be honest. She has a keen sense of enjoyment, an admiration of the little things in life. She enjoys this little person who is her daughter so much.

This was a lovely afternoon, with a lovely woman who sees the world through such wondering and appreciative eyes, a poet at heart.

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