Oh, this vegetable garden has been a large writing metaphor, revealing insights about planning/outlining, revision, and messy surprises. There’s a gopher in my garden. He’s eating everything. He pops up randomly. He leaves desire unfulfilled. He preys upon beauty. He is the villain (every novel needs one).
I’ve let him be, I’ve shared more than half my garden with him. I imagine a fat, contented creature, down in the depths below, having dined on French tarragon and pea shoots and all the other finery of my vegetable garden. I didn’t have the heart to meddle with him. Let him be, I thought. I’d just had my share of death and sickness in life, and I walked the road of pacifism.
This year alone (and the growing season has just started, mind you), he has taken three tomato plants (do you SEE the dark hole in the center of the tomato cage on the right, where a tomato plant once lived?!), two broccoflower plants, and several pea plants down into his epicurean den. I have different aspirations for my garden this year–it’s no longer solely a therapeutic project, but one I expect to deliver edibles. I am no longer wallowing in a sentimental state, thinking everything in this world must live.
And so, my villain must go. Battle must be waged. I set a gopher trap today right after I got home from work and found two more plants gone. Poof. Chomp, chomp. Poof.
In writing, I must kill my darlings. And so too, in my vegetable garden.