Ordinary houses


For my wedding, I chose the song, Crowded Table by The Highwomen. It was meant to be a surprise for Jess on the day. On the morning of our wedding, I was so anxious and so emotional (nothing to do with marrying Jess) that I kept pressing play on my “secret” “aisle” song. I write “aisle” because, of course, there was none – we got married on an wide open beach. “Secret” because Jess heard me push play and panic and try stop the song at least twice when I was showing a friend which song I wanted them to play on cue. For my sake, she pretended she didn’t hear it. Whenever I think of that small kindness – even on stressful days like today – it makes me smile.

In the song, there’s a line about a garden. It goes, “if we want a garden, we’re gonna have to sow the seed“. I led the ceremony at a wedding on 10 December with a similar message that came from a reading Jess and Brandon chose. It said, “The more wonderful the garden, the more skilled the gardener“.

I like gardening. I’m not very good at it. Yet. I want the plants to grow faster even though sometimes I forget to water them. Gardening is teaching me patience and consistency, and I have a long way to go.

At the back of our house, there are retainer blocks. I hate retainer blocks. I mean, ya, they retain and everything but I hate the way they look. So I’m trying to create a vertical garden to cover them. It’s slow going. It’s trial and error.

Since we were away for a near on a month, occasionally I imagined my vertical garden and what it might look like on my return. That’s one of my favorite things about returning home – seeing how much things have grown.

My vertical garden looked sad though. Dry. Thirsty. Barely showing improvement.

I’m back to watering it, trying to do it every day – even when the day doesn’t go to plan – even when the plan is obliterated.

A few weeks ago I read something on Instagram that struck a cord with me: Normalise ordinary houses. Non-magazine houses. Houses that families live in. Toys scattered. Washing on the line. Here’s my contribution: You should know that all these clothes are dry. You should know that I made no attempt to take them off the line. You should know that my vertical garden looks a lot better at this angle than it does straight-on. You should know that I hate these retainer blocks. You should know that I wish I had moved that damn dishcloth.


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