Saturday, August 3, 2013

We are not alone

Gallant soldiers (Galinsoga parviflora) and pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus) on the roof farm, last night

So we're going through a rather bumpy time, right now. We do not know yet whether we will move or stay - and apartments typically only appear on the market a month in advance (our lease ends after October). So a lot is up in the air - and then yesterday this letter arrived in my Facebook Inbox. It helped me put some things into perspective. It is reprinted with kind permission of its author, Melissa Estrella Ivey. Thank you, Melissa.

Dear Marie

My name is Melissa, and I would like to tell you how beautiful and inspiring your blog is. I’m sure you heard this before. But, your blog actually helped me when I was going through a somewhat rough time.

Back in May, my husband and I had finally found what we thought was our dream home. After months of searching, I could finally dream of having a garden with fruit trees, flowers, herbs…a place for our puppy to run, for us to have romantic meals under the stars. We live in a townhouse, and I love gardening. It always felt that I was very limited with the amount of plants I could have, especially because it was hard to bring them all inside during winter time. Our small deck is ok for the 2 of us. There is a stone wall right there, obstructing any view we could ever wished for. And the noisy air conditioner, right next to the deck, always in the middle of our conversations. So, yeah, we were as excited as we could be with the idea of having a view of a beautiful nature reserve.

I was browsing garden ideas on Pinterest, when a picture led me to your blog. I could not believe how beautiful your terrace was. And I wished I had those ideas before, so my deck could look as lovely as your terrace. A few days later, we got the news that we had not been approved for the loan. Our hearts stopped beating for a second, and it felt like we could cry, right there. We had had 30 days of complete madness, trying to get all paperwork done, and faxing, and re-faxing, and writing letters to the bank, and visiting our soon-to-be-home, to find out, on day 31, that we could not finance it. I know it sounds dramatic, but it took us a couple of days to recover.

Then, I went back to your blog. I started reading it, the older posts, the ones about plants, about picnics, cocktails, I could not get enough of it. On my way to work one morning, I stopped at a nursery, and walked amongst the plants, looking for trees, herbs, vegetables, that would survive living in pots, and some that would live through the winter. I did that every day for days.

Reading your blog gave me such strength that I didn’t know I had. I planted herbs, flowers, a fig tree, lots of rosemary and basil. My deck is still very noisy, but looking gorgeous with my plants in it! We have these stairs in the front of the house that I made sure to fill with plants as well. You even inspired me to cook (I cannot wait to put my hands in your book- already pre-ordered!).

Thank you for being this incredible person through a beautiful blog. Your words and pictures were an emotional support when I most needed. And today, they are part of my daily routine; it’s like visiting a good friend!

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