happiness in small things

First, I need to point out that I am not great at gardening. Because I’m egotistical and vain, I’m pretty sure this isn’t because I couldn’t be good at gardening, but because I don’t have the patience and follow up it requires. I also don’t see the point of it. Or, more accurately, I find it to be similar to crafts, which I also am not good at for the same reasons.

Intellectually, I understand why others see the point of things like gardening and crafts: that they’re creating something; that it’s satisfying to build something unique; that all the effort pays off in the form of something beautiful. But on a practical level, it is, for me, just a lot of work and effort to end up with something that you could have easily purchased a better version of.

But then, those crafters and gardeners probably feel the same way about writing. Where’s the value in that, after all? What’s the point?

The extent to which I am interested in both gardening and crafts centers on usefulness. At least I know my limitations and don’t have lofty goals of creating quilts and elaborate gardens. Such plans would only end in heartbreak. And lots of dead plants.

All of that to say that I planted an herb garden over the weekend. Absent life direction, I figured I could at the very least, watch something else grow. An herb garden appeals to my practicality on several levels. It’s very small and contained, so the time and effort are minimal. The result is something useful: I can just walk over to my balcony when I’m cooking and snip off a few leaves. And for the most part, the herbs grow themselves.

If last year’s herb garden is any indication, here how things will go. I will only very occasionally water the plants. Primarily, this will happen when ¬†I am ¬†sitting on the balcony, drinking a glass of water and notice that the basil is fatally limping. So, I’ll share my glass of water with it. The basil will, therefore, be the first to go.

The hardier herbs (the rosemary, the oregano, the sage) will manage to grow despite my best efforts to kill them (in fact, those are still growing from last year, even though I have completely neglected them for at least nine months). I will, however, have no use for sage at any point, so it will exist solely so the cat has something to snack on when outside.

I added catnip this year, which has already been met with great approval. I am pretty sure I’ll have no need to keep it watered because it will be completely eaten by the end of the day.

I did make one addition this year: a small tree with purple flowers. It looks pretty against the blue of the water. It serves no practical purpose other than to remind me to find happiness in small things. So, maybe it’s the most practical plant of them all.

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