An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

22 April 2011


I love the look of an overgrown garden. I love it when the shrubs and the bushes are allowed to grow into each other, when the newer flora are allowed to mix with the older, woodsier greenery, and ever younger shoots thrive under the dense shadows cast by the aged arbors.

Happily, this is the kind of garden we have now in my parents’ house. Mature and overgrown, with aged-looking plants looking a tad ornery in their disarray.

Also, there is a rather large and dense plant called Five Fingers, in a huge terra cotta pot, that was first planted when I was about five years old and we were still living beside Pot-Pot. According to legend -- and as confirmed by our gardener -- it is still alive. It must be around here somewhere.

Once, a long time ago, my mother asked me what kind of garden I liked. I remember saying, “No flowers. Just leaves, and the whole garden should look like an unkempt mini-forest. I would take my typewriter out there in the middle of it and tap out a story from scratch.”

My sister said, “A garden like that would have snakes.”

So I had to add, “Perhaps a gardener that would do nothing but catch snakes would be appropriate.” My mother looked at me wryly.

We do not have snakes in this overgrown garden, although I suppose we have an anthill or two, several lizards, and an assortment of bugs somewhere underneath and among the foliage and the fallen blooms.

Manicured landscapes are not really my style. They try too hard, and they call too much attention to themselves, distracting one from other things. Give me a garden that has overrun itself with abandon, and I will give you a girl who can type out an entire twenty-page first draft of a story in a single afternoon. And as I love overgrown gardens, so, too, might I have become overgrown for certain aspects of my life, but never my mother, never my sister, and never that garden.