Yesterday my plants were crushed by a maintenance guy. Which upset me, to put it mildly.
These were lovely hostas, their stalks poking out, their leaves just on the verge of unfurling. All of this gorgeous spring weather we've had this week, and I'd been outside sprucing up the garden, reveling in the sun on my skin, a much needed break
from the visits to the hospital, the multiple back-and-forths, the simmering-under-the-surface anxiety, but that was over now and tucked safely in the rearview mirror.
Everything is fine. We are fine. I am fine.
I tend to the plants in the evenings. Set out dishes of fresh water for the toads. I find one asleep in a pile of leaves when I am combing through the matted oregano, scoop it up, a heart-sized ball thrumming in my hands.
A younger version of myself would have screeched in surprise, would have tossed the thing without a second thought. But old me, new me sets it back down in the oregano patch, close to his water dish. His, her, their? I know nothing about toads,
but I suspect they want what all of us do. Gentleness. Care. Or maybe I am thinking too hard. Maybe all they want is to live on this earth, undisturbed.
I know the maintenance guy didn't notice the hostas, didn't purposely grind his boot over them when he was doing maintenance on our air conditioning unit, which happens to be located at the edge of my garden. He was preoccupied by his job, just going about his business, and who can blame him.
Still, the crushed plants crushed me. When I found them, I was over-the-top enraged and in tears, and possibly alarming the neighbors. My husband consoled me for a minute and then escaped inside to take a nap. I stayed outside with the toad, nursing my anger. I have a right to be mad!
But even as I was reassuring myself, I knew it was more than a crushed plant that was crushing me. Sometimes we need an escape valve, a release from bottled up stresses. And as far as releases go, this was a damn good one.
Anyway, the air conditioner is fixed. The plants will come back.