Allison wakes up on a warm spring morning with a new resolve: this year, she will deal with the patch of dirt and weeds behind her old green house.
The interior remodel has taken up most of her time, attention, energy, and money the last few years. Leo’s been a huge help, and things function pretty well now: the kitchen is equipped with appliances rescued from the local Habitat store, including a real, relatively quiet and effective dishwasher. Windows are double-paned and slide up and down properly. There are two working bathrooms, new plumbing, updated electrical panel, grounded outlets.
Certainly there is still much to be done inside: painting, trim, and other finishing touches. But the systems that form the engine of a house are done.
It is warm, bright, and safe inside. Allison could rest and spend the warm season with easy decorating projects.
Her nature simply won’t let her. Over the last few years she’s grown used to heavy labor, its challenges and satisfactions. She sleeps so much better after a day that includes hours of physical work.
This morning, she takes her coffee mug outside and walks what others might optimistically call the “yard.” Pausing frequently, she turns in all directions, looking deeply: she realizes she knows where the shade falls and when, which little pieces are in sun most of the day, and she sees the footpaths she and Leo have worn through the weeds and mud.
It’s not quite a “design,” but a structure of sorts that begins to form in Allison’s mind.
Walking around to the front of the house, she sees Kassandra and Jeeves out on another walk together. The two are now more often seen together than separately. Allison waves, notices the steam her breath makes when she calls out a cheery “hello.”
“Planning your garden?” Jeeves asks.
“Was it that obvious?” Allison answers, startled by the woman’s insight.
“Oh, not at all,” Jeeves offers reassuringly, although certainly it was obvious to anyone who is also a gardener. “It’s just what I would be doing on a morning like this – what I do every morning, to be honest. Is this your first garden? You should come over and I’ll walk you around my place.”
“I’d love to,” Allison surprises herself by answering. They make plans to meet up later in the morning.
“That young woman, she reminds me of me,” Jeeves confesses to Kassandra once they are several blocks away.
“Why?” Kassandra asks.
“Something restless in her, maybe. Something never quite satisfied.”
They consider this as they walk on, enjoying the warming of the late spring sun.