On our first date we sat at the bottom of the ravine and dipped our toes in. Later we found a giant tree with its root system exposed. It looked like something you’d see in a movie.
On our way out we looked up at the edge of a ravine. It was steep with fallen trees.
“One day we should come back and climb that.”
He looked at me.
“What about today?”
After that moment, everything grew.
I told him about my garden and he expressed an interest in starting one on his new balcony. He just moved and was proud of his new home:
“It’s like living in a canopy of leaves. It’s like being in a tree fort all the time.”
We ended the date by going back to the roots and the tree. By this time it was dark and we were comfortable enough to hold wrists but only in a way that provided stability when my birkenstocks got slippery and not in a way that we would call holding hands. Still in a way that cause a zillion tiny little electric bolts all over my body.
Halfway up we discovered a homeless man sleeping at the top. There appeared to be space and we asked if we could sit with him. He politely said no and we understood his concern and climbed down.
We never got to sit at the top but the important thing is we found roots at the beginning and then we went back.
There was nothing left to do but lie in a field after.
I can still feel the grass on the backs of my thighs. Starfish Savasana, the green field our studio and yes this is what it feels like to let the walls down. Close enough together to synch breaths, far enough apart to free the sides of my torso, feel my pelvis like a flower fall open. Open enough to close my eyes and see stars.
We discussed postures and poems and everything green. And even though right before he kissed me he said: “Do you want to know my favourite yoga pose,” it was the most romantic thing I’d ever experienced.
Dates later we discussed his new garden project. And although I initially offered to help simply because I wanted an excuse to see him again, it genuinely meant something to me. Not just because I love forts and when I was little my brothers made a zip-line that I never really felt a part of and maybe this was my one chance to belong but no, I genuinely wanted to make his treefort more treefort-y.
We went to the Farmer’s Market and picked out geraniums.
One morning before work we planted them. It was close to 9 and he was wearing his work clothes and we’d barely digested our muesli but he couldn’t wait. We made individual pods of dirt and poured seeds in our hands and stuck our pointers in. When we finished we looked down at earth-covered palms. I slid my fingers over his and everything was growing.
It wasn’t long before he wanted more.
We planted beets. It was too late for beets but we planted them. He wanted flowers. It was too late for the flowers but we planted them. The most important thing was this:
There were seeds and there was dirt and there was water.
I approached my own garden with a new vigour. I was careful with the kale.
The way I stroked the edge was similar to the way I stroked his hair at 4AM, his head in my lap, sick.
I was falling in love. Tending is tending.
Just over forty days later, his balcony is alive. Maybe it’s the new composter because not everything is visibly growing but it doesn’t matter. There are orchids in the window and there are seeds and there is dirt and there is water and there are two people tending to it all.
I knew I wanted it to last when I made him a clipping. My favourite vine, I cut a soft edge and put it in water. Soon, we would be connected through the same green root.
I was biking home the other day. I saw a tree and stopped and stared.
“When I’m with you, I see trees more.”