Struggles~ · ~This Writing Life~

A writer’s cottage garden~


Writing has been my passion since I was in the first grade, which is nothing quite unusual. Many writers say this, or something quite similar. I can’t speak for them, but the dance of thought to words is painfully exhilarating…..and addictive…for me. Not quite the same when it comes to gardens.

I grew up in Texas, flat country….dry, sandy, treeless….WINDY. The only thing that grew usually came equipped with thorns. We didn’t have a vegetable garden until I was in high school and my parents retired. With my mother holding a full-time job in the 50s, she didn’t relish working in the dirt on the weekends. She was too busy getting caught up with raising three kids, and tending house. Therefore, coming to a cottage that was over-run with weeds and little grass was a bit overwhelming. You see, I DO love gardens, and the more entangled cottage-y, the better. The first two years were filled with combating existing strange weeds, and many mistakes. The next two were slow, steady growth…but this year, it has been all worth it. The gardens have arrived. Flowers and vines, trees, and roses all crowd in my front beds, in proper cottage disarray.

When we arrived, there were four raised bed frames in the back yard, out by the lumpy alley, which I dragged (literally) into the yard to fill. This required lifting the frames, then hauling all the dirt to its new location by wheelbarrow.

It took time…lots of it. The fat, organic tomatoes that we had that first season were a thing of orgasmic foodie heaven. And so we continue ….

In writing, I am still planting, weeding, digging, and watering. I have good days, good seasons….and I have the times when nothing seems to thrive. When all the effort seems to be drained out of a bare soul, when there is no energy. Yet, the seeds are under the thick layer of matted dirt. Waiting. Waiting for my return. To take up pen and paper, and begin.

I can’t lie and say that this is easy. That this return is anything less than a rebirth. For me, it is tough. It is complex and sometimes, vicious. This writing that we love. I balk and deny, but I can’t resist for long. I do believe that I was meant always, to be two things: a mother, and a writer. I know I could not exist without either.

I must write. I just need to lie fallow a bit, as my winter garden, before surging forward again into the light. I feel the stirrings of growth again, and projects that I shoved aside are beginning to beckon…rather loudly. After all, summer means fresh tomatoes, brilliant blooms, happy bees, and thankfully, a writer working.



2 thoughts on “A writer’s cottage garden~

  1. We are opposites! I am a lifelong gardener and a hesitant newish writer. I love you garden images, both actual pictures and the ones you create in my mind with your words.


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