Memories… Little treasures and traps that we collect over a lifetime. Longtime readers know that I’ve worked hard to help Cait focus on the treasures, as I try to do for myself. That’s because, as a storyteller, I’m keenly aware of the power of the stories we tell ourselves about where we’ve been, who we are, and where we’re going. Hence my desire to carry the treasures forward.
One of my favorite early memories is of going to my Italian grandmother’s house in the city. I’d scramble out of the car, rush to give my grandmother a hug and then run out into her walled backyard. It was filled with glorious wonders–a fish pond, a little orchard of plum trees heavy with fruit, a huge cherry tree that rained down so many cherries they carpeted the grass, and the heavenly-scented honeysuckle vines that covered the back wall. I thought of it as my own Secret Garden.
Whether I was playing by myself or with siblings or cousins, I loved that I never had to stop to go inside to eat–because my grandmother had created snacking stations all over her backyard. When I’d get hungry, I could just pull a plum off a tree and keep going. What could be better?
I can trace at least part of my joy of gardening back to the many happy hours I spent in my grandmother’s backyard. And I can specifically trace my propensity for creating my own outdoor “snacking stations” to her.
I can’t explain how much it delights me that I can work outside all day and never once need to go inside to get food. I can just mosey over to whatever is ripe and munch to my heart’s content! I’ve got blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, and, for the first time this year…