The seedlings in my living room have just poked their tiny green heads out of the soil and are gathering strength for the life that is before them. They don’t know what future awaits them in my garden; whether wind and rain will batter them lifeless, or if sun and sprinkles will deepen their roots and inspire their rise towards the heavens. Whether the fruit they produce will be edible. Or full of worms and covered in slugs. Last year I celebrated the birth of many veggies, and mourned the loss of my blight-infested tomatoes and the zucchini that was lost to torrential winds. I am hopeful.
Spring is like that for me each year, trumping New Year’s as a starting point of possibility. I sit on my living room couch each morning, bathed in sunlight streaming through the greasy-kid-smudged picture window, drinking my coffee with whole milk and sugar, and things feel possible. Will this be the year I get paid more than $25 for an article? Will my dreams of carving a niche for myself in the writing world come to fruition? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I can sense the rumble of the rushing river below my feet, waiting to carry me towards my goals and the life I feel meant to live. If only I could tap it. I wonder how many people I know are “living the life they dreamed of” (to quote Thoreau) or who simply found themselves down a path they never imagined. I suppose my life is a little of both.
One thing I’ve come to embrace is the constant struggle that seems to pervade my life—not necessarily in a bad way—but a struggle for peace, or answers, or control. Switching careers in my late 30’s still seems a little bold, especially when you consider what I’ve chosen to do—write. It may have been easier for me to pursue a career in stand up comedy, which I’ve toyed with, or try to become the next Tina Fey. It’s no different for my husband either, who’s had in his mind a path he’s wanted to follow since the first time I met him. Together we have locked arms, put our heads down, and have charged against the wind for almost 12 years. We keep trudging. And though we have had some losses as well as gains, our garden continues to grow.
I’m not a selfish person (depending upon whom you ask I suppose) and I don’t want the whole pie. I’m not even asking for a big slice. I’d just like a bite big enough to feed my soul; and to help others in the process. Just a bite. That’s all.
But it’s spring. The smell of freshly mowed grass floats past, the mornings are full of bird song, and everything always feels possible. I am hopeful.