I was weeding my lavender bed the other day, and it occurred to me that I’d written about a character who found peace, tranquility, and a sense of purpose from working in a garden.
Yeah, right, I told myself, as I grabbed a hunk of grass with my bare hand, hoping I didn’t get any dirt under my fingernails. What was I thinking, or more accurately, what was my character, Laura, thinking, spending her free time in a garden when she could have been shopping in Paris? Sipping wine in New York, or hobnobbing with the elegant and chic in L.A.?
Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t want to do any of those things either. Big cities bore me, after about a day. I prefer sipping wine while I cook, and the elegant and chic are usually the vapid as well. So, maybe my character really was on to something.
That was a few days ago, and when I walked past my lavender bed this morning, I caught a trace of the scent—the buds are just forming, the scent barely a wisp. I remembered the day I’d spent last May, putting the plants in—it was hard, back-breaking, dirty work (I’m a wimp, okay?). But the payoff—definitely worth it.
I think my character felt the same way. The sweet scent of lavender, the crisp fresh-picked lettuce, the satisfaction of digging up a carrot you’ve purposely planted—all these are more rewarding than a cocktail party in an exclusive New York club, right?
Here’s an interview with my character, Laura, where she talks about her new-found love of gardening. I guess if my mother had arranged dates for me and taken me to therapy, I’d have found gardening a refreshing change as well.