Our vegetable garden has suffered this year.
Weeding was replaced by wedding.
And soon, other home projects that demand we make progress in the few short summer months each year were underway. While already, the repairs made 15 years ago upon our arrival have been undone—others, yet unstarted, wait.
But, as much as the greedy old house steals time, we would not have it any other way.
“Building character,” we call it, and hammer away at our dream.
At the edge of the woods, a small oak tree I walk past each day has suffered, too.
First, nearly consumed by a hoard of Datana caterpillars—arching into their defensive postures with the slightest nudge of the branch.
Then, nibbled and trimmed by the bagworm, days later, his house decorated by the few remaining scraps he could find.
With each assault, I worry that this young specimen that dared step forward into the field may not survive. The others tower behind him, seemingly unaffected.
A sacrifice, perhaps?
A large unruly plant has sprouted from my compost pile and set forth across the lawn.
We mow around it.
Its leafy greenness hides my gardening sins.
And bears the only tomatoes we may see this year.