As a small boy I used to pick up the telephone just to talk to the operator. She was always there. “Where’s your mommy?” she’d ask. How could I tell her my mommy was depressed and always sleeping? So I’d say: “she’s in the garden.”
Of real gardens there’s much to say. But the gardens of abstraction also need mentioning.
By the age of three I knew something about the real garden. I’d buried my spectacles there. My little Windsor specs, thick as dishes, designed to turn legal blindness into a better form of legal blindness and which older children laughed at. I buried them under the rhubarb.
Magic happens in gardens. Why wouldn’t my mother be there?
“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade.” (Kipling)
But I remember sitting in the shade and wishing my mother would get up.