Years ago, a friend and I rescued dozens of plants from a city lot not far from where I live. The lot was being gutted in preparation for an apartment block. Over a period of weeks and with permission from the builders, we went in and dug up lilacs, hydrangeas, and reams of smaller things like California poppies and Shasta daisies. We also rescued a number of peony bushes. They were old and we weren’t sure they’d survive the move. They did, though it took years to nurse them back to productivity. But now, every spring, I’m rewarded with handfuls of blooms to bring inside. Tangible evidence, as one friend said, of the reward of hard work. Those peonies are also a reminder of my early gardening days, when I felt like anything was possible, slugs notwithstanding. Those days when the garden felt more like a blessing than a chore.
Coincidentally, I’ve spent the last few months revisiting and readying for publication an adult novel I wrote years ago. Much of it was done when my daughter napped, and after I’d spent the morning writing magazine articles or assembling radio documentaries. Back in the days when I felt like anything was possible, publishing climate notwithstanding. Those days when the writing felt more like a reward instead of a responsibility.
At some point in the coming months I hope to have “What Lainey Sees” uploaded and for sale under my other writing name – Laura Tobias. When it hits the Amazon shelf, it will be tangible evidence of the reward of hard work. And the pleasure of the journey itself.