This summer has been strange, transformative. I have found myself being remade, changed, fashioned anew into a different version of me.
Part of it is because of Gammy: negotiating the space between my family and the medical system, acting as interpreter and liaison and physician by proxy--all of those experiences remind me of the distance that I have already traveled, diverging from the lay public toward the specialized knowledge of medicine.
Part of the transformation has been my work in the garden. I have not yet written much about the garden on my own time because I keep regular notes of what happens for myself and for my research. In a way, I am letting the garden teach me (remind me) about anthropology and field research. I try to record not only what I do, but what others do. I step back and try to see the bigger picture, pick out threads among the tapestry that weave a story of this place as it is to each person and to the community.
Along with the time I have spent in the garden, I have also taken up plenty of hobbies this summer. I have found again my love for crocheting, for creating things with my hands; I have dived again into cooking, experimenting much more with growing food rather than simply preparing or cooking it. (There is a definite thrill to watching seedlings pop out of the earth, to tending window boxes full of lettuce and pots of tomatoes and basil and other herbs on the porch, to rinsing beans or mustard seeds in water until they sprout.) I started a food blog (shameless plug) with friends, though so far I'm the only one who's written anything for it.
I have struggled and struggled against myself, in the conflict of pragmatism and desire and possibility and plausibility, each time beating my will and doubts and fears between hammer and anvil and in so doing, have watched my self emerge, stronger and tempered and more defined.
For the most part, it is good. Sometimes, I am less sure, but mostly I am.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin.