The quote on my teabag reads, “A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul” bringing about a memory of my grandfather kneeling at work in his garden. He wears black suspenders over a fitted, white tee shirt and an old pair of blue jeans that tear off at his knees. I can render the usual senses in my mind – his familiar smell of dirt and roots mixed with the subtle lingering of a musky cologne that has spent the day soaking into his tanned skin. It doesn’t make much imagination to feel the soft skin of my cheek left moist from his kiss, scratched and wet from the sweat gathered in his early evening stubble. Most days, I would wipe the dampness away, but today I imagine that I allow it to dissolve into my skin. The garden has always been a solace for his soul, and yet in all this time, our shared spiritual practice. Him working alone in his garden, and I walking alone near the sidelines of his property picking berries among the greenery, my romantic gesture to be hidden in plain sight. From such an early age, I have circled barefoot and curious around the sidelines of his labor with a belly freshly full of homegrown tomato juice picked from the plant and cleaned with the cloth of my shirt. There is the garden, and there is us; together and separate in the lingering proof of our familiar root – our two bodies existing.
Story and Photo by Marissa Buccilli
I received my master’s degree from the Department of English at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I currently reside in Knoxville, TN where I enjoy the close access to the wild and beautiful Tennessee public state and national parks.