Mar 21, 2008
Just outside of town there’s a big curve in the road, the kind that recommends with a little yellow sign you take your speed from 55mph to 20mph. On the outside arc of that curve is a little household garden belonging to the farm house on the inside of the curve. Every year, there are sunflowers and tomatoes, green beans and peppers; it’s a nice little garden, like one I aspire to have in my own yard. One summer, some years ago, a man on a motorcycle didn’t make the big curve and lost his life while lying in the little garden on the outside arc. I’ve been thinking of it when I drive out of town. I wonder if he stared up at the summer stars that night. I wonder if I would have the fortitude to still garden there or if it would feel more errant to neglect the soil. I wonder if anyone asked to put a make shift memorial there; a plastic cross with silk flowers like so many others I see dotting the highway marking the dirt that someone laid on when they lost their life. I imagine how it might look among the sprouting young plants in the spring. I think of it when I see pictures on the news of teddy bears piled high mixed with throngs of cards, notes and flowers on public sidewalks after a tragic event and I imagine the same outpouring of public grief piled high in the middle of a small kitchen garden. Soon enough the family on the inside of the arc will till the soil on the outside of the arc and sew their seeds.