It’s been almost three months since I arrived in Bavaria, longer since I dismantled my deck garden and grow room and sent my favourite orchids and plants out for fostering. Needless to say, the move has been exciting, a wonderful opportunity to experience life across the pond. In a life marked by constant changes in scenery and geography, this is the “big one” — I don’t think I need to belabour that point. But something interesting happened to me yesterday…
I bought some houseplants. I’ve been resisting all summer, making do with the few plants left behind by the apartment’s previous occupant. We’re living a gypsy life in a home that came to us fully furnished, and it just didn’t make sense to add to the stuff that we’ll need to unload when we leave. This practicality has become a philosophy for me over long years of experience, but when it comes to green growing things and flowers, my resolve is non-existant. Happy though I am to be in Munich, I’ve been puzzled by the sheer envy I experience when I pass by the allotment gardens or read my sister-in-law’s latest report on her harvest from the vegetable patch. That funny little squeeze in my heart when I pick up a magazine and see pictures of bright little cottage gardens has me avoiding that part of the bookstore altogether. What IS that? Well, I think a new orchid and a couple of small tropicals may have answered the question.
A wanderer I may be, but everywhere I’ve gone, even if just for a little while, I’ve planted a garden. Not a bad legacy, but executed for purely selfish reasons. Yesterday, when I repotted the little plants, the feel of soil between my fingers was enormously soothing. The pretty blooms on the orchid (an unnamed variety that I would not ordinarily buy for that very reason) made me smile, smoothed out the little bump in my heart just a bit.
I can’t be a wanderer and not be a gardener too — it’s my way of coping with an irresistable urge to connect with a place, even if I can’t stay. I’ve lived in few buildings in my life that I would call home, but I’m always at home in the earth, in a garden of my own making. I prefer a real garden, of course, but when improvisation is required, a few pots on my windowsill will do.