It's OK to Become Someone New

Tuesday, May 16, 2023


I've always hated gardening. In fact, it was the thing I was most worried about when we bought this house — that I would have to plant, have to dig, have to mow, have to rake, have to give a shit.
But our yard is big. Much as we've tried to put it off — and ohh, try we have — it's become quite clear that if we don't want to be those neighbors with that yard, we're going to have to put in some pretty serious work on an indefinite and ongoing basis.
Luckily, my mom is pretty good at gardening. And more importantly, she loves it. She's been trying to talk me into it for years, to no avail. But two weekends ago, my yard overgrown and my flowerbeds still full of last fall's dead leaves, she came up to help me start the process of sprucing things up.

By the time she arrived, I'd already done half a day's work. I'd raked five bags' worth of leaves, and the flowerbeds looks almost passable — almost. She brought some tools with her that I don't have yet, and together, we got to work.
At one point, she came upon me, sitting cross-legged in the driveway as I carefully hand-plucked leaves that had become entangled in my bluebells. I didn't want to damage the delicate flowers by dragging a sharp rake through the beds, so I was painstakingly removing as much as I could by hand.
And I didn't even hate it.
"I never thought I'd see the day," my mom told me.
Neither did I. But it's my house, and I want to be good to it it. It's not just about not being that neighbor with that yard, though. It's about pride, yes, but it's also about care, and it's about being responsible for the well-being of living things.
I never thought I'd see the day, either. But all of a sudden, it feels like it's the right time.
Later, we were working together, adding dirt to the back beds, when my neighbor came out and said hello from her back porch. We kibbitzed a little bit, and my mom commented on her beautiful lilac bushes, which partially hang over the fence between our yards.
"There's another lilac bush in the back," my neighbor told us. "I've lived here for 50 years, and this is the first time it's ever bloomed."
I heard myself say, "It's never too late."
It's never too late to discover what you're made to do, who you're made to be. It's never too late to fall in love with something new.
It's never too late to bloom. 

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