Shelter in Place

I, like many others, lost my job after the order was set in motion. With an abundance of time on my hands and the feeling of confinement to the walls in my home, I have been taking refuge in my garden. Okay, let’s be real, it’s a backyard with a few overgrown trees and three store-bought herb plants. It’s no Versailles. After years of working 40+ hours a week, the relief of having time to spend even contemplating having a garden is pretty spectacular. Though, having zero money coming in has made it difficult to really develop my newly-acquired green thumb as I have very little to prune and tend to.

Feeling restless after weeks of pacing my tiny little bungalow and my future secret garden, I decided to go on a 2-mile walk to my hometown’s historical home district. It’s one of the few places in this concrete jungle with a good amount of old-growth trees and gardens. It is spring after all, and I could use the exercise; and they tend to keep the sidewalks freshly paved and clean. I walked down the boulevard along a line of hundred-year-old homes, some of them cottage-like and covered in English ivy that look straight out of a fairytale, while others look like mini white houses with sprawling ever-green lawns in front.

I wondered what it must be like to be sheltered in a home like that. I pondered why this is the only place in town where the streets aren’t riddled with garbage and potholes, and I wondered how often and how much the governor invests in this area’s pavement. It looks as if it was just repaved last week. I started to admire the fragrant flowers and the gingerbread molding on a home when, out of the corner of my eye, I caught that I was about to step on something. 

I paused just in time to avoid trampling the most romantic perfection of a chamomile plant growing out of a crack of the freshly-poured asphalt. Thinner than a penny, the crevice was overtaken by every sprig that this plant could muster to squeeze through. I looked to my left, looked to my right, and saw there were no other such seedlings around. There was just this; one and only.

I saw this as a sign from the universe, source, God; whatever you wanna call it. Through whatever confines and structures of man, through whatever pandemic and scarcity, there still remains the force of creation. It doesn’t stop when it hits a hard place or when it’s being squeezed. It keeps growing towards the light. It keeps pursuing what it’s meant to be and do. It has no other way of being. 

I tenderly plucked that little Bob Ross of a chamomile plant and planted it in my future secret garden. It’s my lil’ reminder that all I need to be in these uncertain times is just a little miracle.

Ashley Gann

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *