I’m still in South Florida and while here, I’m thinking of there — my Long Island garden. Before Joe and I left, the bud of my Stargazer Lily was setting itself up to bloom. I just know that by now, nearly two weeks since we left, I missed Lily’s grand opening — and divas hate that. So in an effort to make amends with Lily, I offer you this repost.
The stars are ageless, aren’t they?
Let me first begin by saying that this is not the post that I had planned — but some plants tend to be divas. My initial idea was to give you a “Bloomin’ Update,” with a series of photos documenting the opening of a lily. My one and only lily that hasn’t been seen in years. To use a film reference, this lily is my very own Norma Desmond of Sunset Boulevard fame.
This post actually began long ago, well before there was a blog. I had planted three lilies in what I will call the perennial garden. In fact, the perennial garden was really my first attempt at gardening, and I felt the need to fill it with as many flowers as I could order, purchase, find, borrow, root. There was really no rhyme or reason. Regardless, the lilies bloomed beautifully, but their perfume was overpowering. At times, I wasn’t sure if I was smelling my yard or the funeral home that backs against the woods behind my property.
Florida? In summer? Are you nuts?
If you’ve read any previous posts, you already know the answer to that question. But in this case, there is a reason to the madness. In a nutshell — a coconut shell, that is — South Florida will someday be our new home. About one month before Hurricane Andrew arrived in 1992, Joe and I purchased a house. Each year since, we have traveled to Fort Lauderdale several times a year to do the most relaxing of vacation activities: yard work. And as we go about our palm tree trimming and bundling and bagging of debris, we do a lot of planning and dreaming.
This post first appeared nearly a year ago, and since I am somewhere on a highway on my way to a vacation and faraway from any Internet service , I thought it was quite appropriate to revisit the anxiety that I feel when I have to leave my garden in someone else’s hands. For longtime readers, I apologize for this repeat broadcast; for new readers, I hope you enjoy.
I have done what every therapist and doctor advises people not to do. I have self-diagnosed, but let me first explain.
It’s summertime, and Joe and I are going on vacation for a few days. It’s a chance to relax, to get away from everything, to reconnect, to breathe. In actuality, though, the days leading up to departure mean a growing sense of unease and worry. I become consumed with obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and stress — and none of it comes from the what-to-pack, what-not-to-pack scenario, nor from the airport pat-down, nor from who will mind the dog and the cat, nor from the last-second question, “Did I remember to take my trusted Swiss army knife out of my carry-on?” No. For me, the physical-emotional symptoms stem from leaving my garden and entrusting its care to someone other than myself. I am now calling these symptoms Garden Separation Anxiety Disorder, also known as G-SAD, as in, “Gee, That’s sad.”