Each time I water my garden it is hot. The plants are thirsty and the soil is dry, they drink in the waterfall and beg me for more, I am a bad plant Mom but I try harder to be better each day–each day I give them more and each day I look forward to putting my hand under the cascading flow, closing my eyes and wishing that the stream was flowing over me. I think, What a lovely shower this would be, let’s go jump into a river and float away for a few days, and then each shower I take in my small Chicago apartment I try to recreate the refreshing chill I pour out of the watering pal. Sometimes a success, sometimes it’s not quite right. When I leave the garden it is beautiful, full and happy. I whisper loving words and tell each plant they are special.
My soap smells like citrus petals, I think, what are citrus petals? I question. As I shave my legs dirt falls from my skin, the dirt from the city accumulates on my body as I ride my bike miles each day. The citrus petals clean my skin, the razor makes it smooth and the refreshing waterfall rinses me off. I suppose the citrus petals clean me of other dirt too. The dirt of a long day, the dirt of hours and hours of trying and working and thinking and feeling, of self talk and continuous motivation that seemingly goes nowhere –the moment under my waterfall clears me of everything. Time transcends and responsibility falls to the wayside. Shaving my legs I notice my amber skin to my ankles, a tan line and white feet, amber to mid thigh and then a harsh line where cloth falls when I am in the sun. I notice scars that will not go away and curves that I have not quite come to accept yet. The waterfall’s magical effects wash down with the drain as I wrap myself in a towel.
In my garden I dig my hands in the dirt to pull weeds and plant new vegetables. The spade is broken but I don’t mind–the Earth, she speaks to me through my hands and in my body, the soil harbors life, sustains it and, well, it makes me dirty. A different dirty than the dirt on my legs from the city. This is a dirty of life, of energy, of sunshine and of love. The dirt gets stuck under my finger nails and stays there as a reminder that beauty is there in the middle of a dirty city. A reminder that working with my hands brings me joy and fills a passion I didn’t know I had.
Another stream I let fall from the pal brings another whoosh of refreshment to my hands as I breathe in the sun.