This is how this post started:
Tonight, it is raining, and I’m smiling with satisfaction. Firstly, I just love rain and the thought that I am surrounded by water falling from the heavens. Secondly, the water is coming down and feeding my newly planted vegetable garden.
Then I pushed save, because I got super sleepy. “I’ll finish it tomorrow,” I told myself, my ears lulled by the ambient noise of rain hitting every hard and soft surface in the world. Today, I opened up the post-in-progress and didn’t have the heart to delete those first few lines. They are so in-the-moment, and there are times when “in-the-moment” trumps all.
Now it is partly cloudy outside, the clouds drifting over the sun, over my vegetable garden. I have just gone outside and contained the mint. I had not realized, when I planted the mint, that it was an invasive plant that needed to be planted in a pot, which should the be sunk into the soil. So I did just that. Now it will not “invade” the garden.
Even though I like the idea of mint invading everything, and having a mint patch that perfumes the air, I know I will not like it in reality. There are other plants that need their space: Korean eggplants, Korean radishes, chives, green onions, carrots, dill, chamomile, basil, Korean perilla and chrysanthemum leaves, and Korean melons, as well as various decorative gourds.
This vegetable garden, while seemingly impulsive, has been a desire of mine for years–and it was only on sheer will and impulse that we slapped together a retaining wall, lugged in thirty bags of planting soil, and planted the seeds in a week. I just HAD to have a vegetable garden–on so many levels. My parents gave me seeds last Fall, before they moved to the desert where there would no longer be a vegetable garden. I felt I had to continue that garden, somehow. My mother-in-law died, and I had a real desire to get some life started. And in the face of crisis, I like to keep myself busy. I think there are a few more reasons for this garden, but those are the more obvious reasons.
Now I wait, with desire and expectation curdled into one.
But is that healthy? What do I expect out of my garden? I know, deep down inside, there are turns the garden might take–bugs may invade, or rodents invade, or the plants may not grow, the plants might even suffer, or I may have planned the garden wrong, or we may have too many vegetables. Or I may overlook containing the mint. Or it may just be perfect, too.
This mingling of desire and expectation is a tricky concoction–I learned today, in session, that I ought to divide the two, especially when it comes to my writing. I have promised to try to separate my desire to write fiction again, from my expectations to write Stellar fiction. I have promised to take it word by word and see what comes out. I promise to myself to not make these “goals” but “experiences.”
There is desire. There is expectation. The two shall not meet.