Garden State of Mind
It has been three years since our move to Southern California from New Jersey. During this time I have taken note of those things that are similar, other things that are different and the so many things that are missed.
New Jersey has become a T.V. cliche. The reality of New Jersey cannot be reduced to the one-dimensional characters that are presently found on the 'small' screen purporting to live the NJ life. Although diminutive in size, the state packs a punch in living life large and with few regrets. Its best season, it may be argued, is springtime. This is when the air becomes heavy with the promise of rain showers. After the clouds have burst forth and released the weight of their precipitation, the dewiness hangs in the air and hints at the cavalcade of flora and greenery that will shortly come forth within just a few days of rising temperatures.
Here is Southern California there is no likeness to the Garden State spring. There are, of course, cycles of planting and harvest, but the season is more banal and less a pronouncement of arrival and departure.
So I now reminisce in my mind as I treasure the memories of my New Jersey garden. My rush to the garden center to plan yet another year's color box of delightful blooms is but a mere memory of the past. I close my eyes and recall the riot of colors and scents that permeated every available inch of earth and container. I pause to remember my nemesis, the garden squirrel, who determined to undermine my plantings as readily as I determined to rid my jewel box garden of his presence. The battle raged on between us for many years with victorious relief only gained upon my departure. And, finally, I recall my happiness and overt joy at taking in the lush and plush spectrum of color that delighted me each and every day through out the season. There was much toil and great trouble in the planting of the garden, but there is no gain without pain. Each and every ache was worth it for this, truly, was my Garden State of mind.