15 Years

Most of the bushes in the backyard, plus a few in the front, are getting torn out tomorrow. What started as a small desire to remove a scraggly, stray, weed-like plant that found its way under the fence from my neighbor’s yard has become a full-fledged overhaul of the flower beds.

Gone will be the remnants of rosebushes which, while still clinging to a bit of life, have seen better days. Gone will be a few dense bundles of fountaingrass whose shapes have taken on as much finesse and elegance as a hippie’s Woodstock-ready coif.

It’s speculated that the rosebushes have been there for 15 years. 15 years ago, I was 20. Mid-college. Two years out of high school. I drove a turquoise Colt that a close friend of mine fondly remembers as “the teal squealer,” I weighed 30 pounds less than I do now and I consumed disproportionate amounts of Del Taco. I was in the midst of switching my major from Journalism to Advertising, and I was likely on a quest then, as I am now, for “the perfect bra” to ring in a new year. (I fully expect that I will go 15 more years without finding it.) I played a number of Jewel songs somewhat decently on guitar, tried teaching myself HTML coding (I don’t recommend this) and wrote a lot of poetry and short stories.

Today, I still eat disproportionate amounts of Del Taco (I realize cutting back may address those 30 pounds), I avoid HTML or any other coding, don’t play guitar as much, the car is different, but I’m still writing.

The landscape has certainly changed, but that old fire inside still flickers.

As with anything the key to success will be what you do with something once the seed has been planted. Water it? Ignore it? Cut it back to allow for new growth? Train its vines to climb and grow in a certain direction? Starting over on a garden after 15 years and vowing to write every night for a year are two very different things. But they both need the right amount of attention to take root. With TLC, and maybe even a little luck, perhaps there will be something that takes root, flourishes and explodes into color and wonder that I can look back on proudly.

Tonight I am thankful for makeovers and fresh starts to things that have been there for a long time. It will be interesting to see how much they grow in a year’s time.

Or 15.

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