but then, there were tomatoes that were almost ripe. really trying to be red (or yellow, or orange, or purple...). And there were flowers. The plants were still flowering. I did pull most of them, but I left three plants. What's the harm in that?
It served as a reminder, that even in times of resting, dying, changing... there is still growth and hope. This is almost certainly my last tomato pull from the Midden garden. The last time I'll call it mine, I'll bring in tomatoes to share, to cook with in our kitchen. To share with my housemates.
I'm moving out. The exact timeline is yet to be set, but I'm house searching. Finding a place to call my own, for the long haul. A kitchen that I clean, and I messy. A living room where I can dance naked or read a book. Where I can open my home to friends or loved ones in need, without a process or discussion to get a stamp of approval. I home where I will know who has been invited in, who is roaming around while I try to sleep, who is standing in my living room when I come home from an exhausting day at work, at the hospital, or from therapy. A home that is mine.
I've had the intention of shouting about how great this place is, how much i've loved it and it's loved me. About how it provided me stability and warmth during years where I didn't know I needed that if I was ever going to grow. A place that has taught me about others, about living in a city, about ways care does and does not happen, about myself. Recently, i've had an itch to get out and get out fast. Some things, some relationships, have changed and I've felt hurt. Pushed. Gross. Uncomfortable. That's still true, I still feel those things. But I also feel reflective of the good, of the magical, of the loving. Today, I'm wearing rose colored glasses.
In this home, I've shared my life with others, and they've shared theirs. I've shared money, food, kitchen space, responsibility, roofs, and bills. I've let go of control (and I've been a stickler to keep control). I've met fascinating people traveling through. I've seen extreme closeness and care (and extreme lack of care). I've learned to grow food for others and how to do it reasonably well. I've hosted birthday parties for friends, been part of craft, movie, and game nights. I've made huge pots of food and scrubbed toilets to get ready for potlucks. I've had friends over for quite dinners and super porch coffee in the sun. I've been moved to tears by musical friends sharing their talent, and I've been forced into a ball of anxiety by it, too. I've learned how to fix things and how to maintain them. I've gone away, and I've come home. I've felt hot tears of despair and uncontrollable gitty excitement. I've had time to grow and learn, to do yoga in the sun, to let shit burn, to accept the patience and love of those around me, to give more then i knew i could give. I've retreated with folks to gather our strength, and I've retreated from them to gain my own. I've been part of political projects, been challenged to dig deeper into my moral compass, and learned lessons from those around me. I've given a peaceful bed to friends from afar and warmly accepted gifts of gratitude. I've gotten creative as I work to create a comfortable and functional home-- making things cute, making sure folks know where to find the rosemary in the garden, what the heck to do with lovage, and how to flush the toilet. I made a quilt and sewed more curtains than I can count (though, actually, probably could. It's not that many...). I've been inspired by the ways folks live their lives and in shock and awe of it, too.
I can't imagine not caring about this place, this house, this community.
I can imagine caring about if as a cheerleader, off to the side, impacted less directly then the players on the field, but more so than those in the stands. I'm cheering for this place, but I'm also not willing to play the game anymore.