My Poor Backyard Has Gone to Hell (Temporarily)

May be an image of flower, nature and tree
Yellow and purple wildflowers in full bloom.

My poor backyard…

Actually, it’s just doing what nature does during this season, which is also a way of saying that this is temporary and it can handle itself. But… during the summer, my backyard is gorgeous with tall, native plants and wildflowers. These surround the perimeter of the yard, and as they blossom, they are beautiful for the eyes and full of nectar for bees. I absolutely love my backyard in the summer.

Then in October and November, everything dies. The tall plants begin to wilt and turn brown with decay. On top of that, all these leaves fall from the trees behind the other side of the fence. It just looks like death out there. I never have time to address this right away, otherwise I would rake quickly and cut down the dying plants. But, I work a lot. Last year, I raked the leaves onto the perimeter of the fence, hoping that that year’s leaves would serve as mulch for next year’s plants. Some of that probably happened, but by the time the spring emerged with all the dead plants still there, I invited a crew to cut and tow everything away.

I haven’t decided what I’m going to do out there this year, but as I said, it looks like death at the moment.

In the midst of this, however, I do love this: I expect all these annual plants and wildflowers to emerge again with all their beauty. I know that I’m in a season along with them, and these wilting, brown, sad plants have already given the seeds for next year’s blossoms.

I will get out there soon — maybe this weekend — to do some tending to this mess out there. And when I do, I’m also going to remember that this is true to life.

Even amidst loss, decay, and dis-order, there is always the possibility that goodness remains, transformed and transforming, alongside a possibility of renewal. Even from there, new life can emerge.

Renee Roederer

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