Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Soul Garden

Ladies, I've reached the six-month mark of single-mamahood.

The sky hasn't fallen. We're not living on a park bench. We even have a little garden growing on the balcony of our new apartment, a feat I never managed to accomplish as a stay-at-home-mama in a house with a lovely and generous yard.

We have tomatoes, rosemary, cucumbers, lavender, basil and other lovelies growing right outside our sliding door.

But, in addition to vegetables and herbs and flowers, what we are cultivating is a sense of joy, independence and possibility. What we have built together, mama and daughter--what we're growing--is a result of us and our intrepid nature. What we're doing, we're doing on our own, and well.

To be sure, we owe much to friends and family and the support they've so generously provided. A word or two of encouragement, an hour or two of free babysitting--it's all integral to this step in our journey.

The last six months have been a logistical and emotional roller coaster. We have entertained both comfort and hardship. We have stumbled, and we have collected ourselves. Our bootstraps are worn out from tugging. Our gardening tools are well-used. And we have moved forward.

Now, six months out, despite being in the midst of a mad heat wave, the forecast is favorable. We can do this. We're doing this. To persevere, it doesn't take a house, or a man. It doesn't take built-in bookshelves or a gourmet kitchen. A padded 401k--does anyone have one these days?--is not required. All it takes is the determination to do so.

Little One, you are my garden. Your future is what I am cultivating. I promise to promptly pull any weeds that threaten to inhibit your growth--our growth.

Our growing season is now. Together, we will reap the fruits of our experiences.

The time is ripe.