Before I fall to sleep at night my subconscious wakes up and asks me to stay a while. My mind wanders in to my backyard, willing the newly-planted dark clover to thrive, and it wonders at the sturdiness of the nasturtiums that have taken over the gazebo and are considering a war against the tomato cage. I bought a bougainvillea to stop it from advancing, but it’s just been trained and I don’t know yet how effective it will be in combat.
This is the one thing in my life that nourishes me, these late night daydreams where I float through the natural space outside my room.
No hummingbirds yet at the Salvia, but it’s only a matter of time. I want what I plant to provide for the birds that visit. I am excited when we water because that means the soil will loosen and the worms will stir. Though I stopped buying bird seed the house finches make due by eating the dandelions and the flowers and greens they produce. I love comparing their bright red heads to the grass I have let die to the color of straw.
Among the new additions of coleus, bougainvillea, and forget-me-nots, there’s a gathering of river stones where I planted one flower from a pink geranium. My mother told that me that I could just stick these little shoots in the ground and they will take off. “They are sturdy” she likes to say. She says that about all plants, really.
Underneath the stones, about a foot below the surface, lies Morrissey the cockatiel. Morrissey was a foster bird of mine who recently died from a genetic defect of his trachea. Through mites, lice, and a deformed beak…and finally his own makeup he surrendered, but not before he sang through it all, waving his little left foot for effect.
Though I don’t like to use water without purpose Morrissey loved showering with me. So I turn the hose on the rocks at twilight and give Morrissey a little of what nourished him.