Simple Pleasures


Now that I’ve graduated from college, I don’t have very many pasttimes that need constant indulging. I don’t find myself rushing to a meeting for an extracurricular activity, nor so I spend less than a minute brushing my teeth because I have an exam that begins in the next ten minutes. I lived for the thrill to be busy in college, to forget about stress at home that had led me to travel more than 2000 miles away from home in search of an education. Now, from the constant thrills that had easily woven their way into my life for the past four years, I wasn’t sure what to expect at home. I was lost.

After several days of the vicious cycle that only consisted of “eat, sleep, repeat,” on the fourth day of being home, my mother took me to our backyard to show me her garden as well as her newest addition to it–tomatoes! Her excitement was nothing far from expected. Now that I was an independent, degree-holding college graduate who would eventually support herself, and my sister, young but not young enough to require constant maternal attention, my mother needed something to nurture, something that would be in her backyard for her to keep an eye on always.

I attentively listened to her tour of the backyard, knowing that this was of genuine interest to her. What I did not know, however, was that I would be back the very next day, observing the growth of the strawberries and the ripening stage of the currently bright green tomatoes.

The next day after I invited my sister to join me so she could help me pick the red strawberries. We took our time admiring the budding flowers–a term she learned from me that day. We didn’t hesitate to crouch down near the tomatoes to see whether any could have instantly reddened overnight.

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Hand-picked strawberries from our garden

My trips to our small, but quaint garden helped me realize why people indulge in their own gardens. The breeze that blew over me as I crouched down to smell the fresh mint leaves was calming. The experience led me to believe that garden truly was one of the liberating experiences for some as it had been for me among many. My visits to the garden never failed to put a smile on my face. They will mindlessly continue every evening as long as I’m back at home.

The simple pleasures made being back home different, but an equally educational experience.

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