Once we lived in a house that was on a well-trafficked corner in a well-groomed suburb. Since we had no backyard, I made my big vegetable and herb garden in the front yard. For the first few years of this garden, I made a point of keeping it as tidy as the surrounding suburb. I planted my rosemary, basil and parsley in rows. I planted precise circles of marigolds around the tomato vines. The chives created a lovely lavender stripe down the middle of my garden and the whole plot had a sweet scent because the sidewalk edges were trimmed with creeping thyme for passers-by to accidently stumble on and release its perfume. I weeded that garden several times a week.
One summer, however, I didn’t tend my garden. By July, that corner patch was pretty ragged. Jokingly, I mounted a lime green laminated sign on the street side of the garden, with the words “Death Garden” printed in the scariest type I could find. One of my proudest moments that summer was when I overheard one young girl on her bike shout to another, “Meet me at Death Garden in five minutes!”
We humans and our insane need for recognition!
I am in the midst of planning my own wedding. The complaint I’ve always had about weddings is that everyone gets so caught up in planning the details of the event they forget to focus on the major life change that is about to happen. I was SURE that if I ever had a wedding, that wouldn’t happen to me. If I ever had a wedding, it would be so simple that the focus transfer couldn’t possibly occur.
Of course, you know the end of this story. I am amazed by how caught up in the details I’ve become. Over breakfast, I ask my fiancé questions like, “What size pitcher do you think we should have on our registry?” I wake up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep until I revise the announcement text again and I write a list of printers I will call for quotes first thing in the morning. The irony is that I’m never awake first thing in the morning because I was up in the middle of the night having a thought attack about my wedding.
This worry of mine is obviously a reflection of my anxiousness about the impending (no matter how desirable) change in my life. The moral of this tale is that we all (me especially) have to be very careful about criticizing the ways that people become obsessed, as we are all prone to thought attacks of our own.