Transition and settling in (and resettling in) is a sub-theme in my life. Last year I wrote a series called Starting Again: Five Things To Do And One Don’t and I’ve often used this space to ponder what it is that transforms a place into, suddenly, Home. I’ve written about the impact of bubbles and the miracle of growing things. . .
I celebrated Black Friday this year by turning 35 and thus establishing myself as middle-aged at last after years of practicing. My husband celebrated by giving me flowers–thousands and thousands of them.
Our new home had a huge square garage with a plastic roof when we first saw it. Walking into it the first time I realized it had doors leading from the house in at least two locations, and windows looking upon it from two others. It is like a blank concrete box with a brick floor in the midst of everything and the house sort of wraps around it.
But if we could clear it out and sweep off the paving stones and if we could take the plastic sheets off and open the roof and if we could grow vines over the metal bars where the roof was and if we could fill it with plants and if we could hang a hammock and lots of lanterns . . . this space could be incredibly, restfully beautiful.
But there was a lot of work to do just surviving and setting up these last months. So although we had the roof opened and I swept it out and hung empty jars with candles from the rafters with wire, I wasn’t able to start the garden.
Until now. For my birthday gift, Alex had a driver take us to a town high in the hills near our city that is known for selling plants and flowers. We wandered the greenhouses and the flower street and bargained and chatted with flower ladies and came home in a drivable jungle.
The beauty of these greenhouses, perched on terraces full of fantastic, colorful, aromatic living things of all types all growing together, was such as I will never forget. I’ll be returning often, soaking in the loveliness of this new land that we’re making our home.
We gathered hydrangeas, jasmine trees, bougainvillea, hibiscus, trumpet flowers, petunias, fuschias, roses, and orchids. We brought rosemary and passion fruit vines and a lime tree. Many of the plants are favorites of mine, many are colorful or fantastic or creative in different ways.
I was so happy.
I just wandered the terraces and exclaimed over the wondrous things and left Alex to do the bargaining for our treasures. In the end the car was full of amazing things for far less than the price of a date to the movies in the States.
We drove home with the scent of jasmine, covered with leaves and dirt and hope.