She was in the garden because that’s what calms her. Down on her knees with a shovel, scooping the soil out and planting seeds, watering them, nurturing them, willing them into plants and vegetables and meals on the dinner table, this is what brings her peace and serenity. This is her little quiet time.
Her garden is a little 20 foot by 20 foot urban oasis. A tranquil bird bath sits in the corner. Except for the power lines running overhead, you wouldn’t suspect this was Los Angeles.
She had just planted zucchini and decided to water the tomatoes since the sun was setting now and they looked a little thirsty. Keith was still on his business trip for another week and she thought about what time of day it was in Australia. They hadn’t spoken since he left and their fight at the airport. She’s been dreading having to revisit it when he returns. Part of her wished he would never come back. That would be easier. It’s been some time since she felt what she should be feeling.
She pulled the hose over to her vegetable bed and turned on a light flow. Water began feeding her plants. Her thoughts were buzzing, loosely connected, winged things. She was lost in the swirl, not watching what she was doing, when she looked down and noticed that a puddle had formed underneath her. “Shit,” she shouted and quickly shut the water off. “How stupid of me.”
Tomatoes are awfully temperamental things. She stood arms akimbo, looking at the mess she made, wondering if they would survive the drenching when a bee flew inches from her face. “Motherfucker,” she shouted as she swiped at it. It continued to zigzag and terrorize her so she launched an even more aggressive counter-attack, waving both hands at it wildly. The bee was faster than her slaps and now engaged in harassment, dive-bombing for her nose. She took a step back and her heel got caught on the hose. Her legs went out from under her and she took a very quick seat in the dirt.
Her hands were muddy, her pants too. She wasn’t hurt but she was unable to move. There was a tremendous weight holding her down. She couldn’t bring herself to stand up, so she just sat in the mud and held in the tears while she watched the bee slowly fly off toward the power lines.