Read Part One.
During my pregnancy with my son, on the verge of new motherhood, in the midst of my joy at prospect welcoming a new life, I found myself, as I think many women in that position do, more acutely aware than I ever had been before of the worst aspects of the world I would be bringing my child into, and helplessly anxious regarding my certain inadequacy as to act as a permanent shield against heartbreak and danger.
Driven by some nascent maternal desire to create an orderly, welcoming corner in an endlessly uncertain world, I started gardening in earnest during my pregnancy.
The apartment my husband and I shared at the time was tiny, and lacked a yard, but I was determined. I filled our tiny balcony with a motley collection of pots, and planted them with herbs and tomatoes.
The tomatoes didn't last long in such a confined spot, with a lack of good sunlight; after months of clinging tenuously, they succumbed to spider mites. But the herbs flourished, and soon I had a minature forest on my balcony. I was officially a gardener.
And every place we've lived thereafter, I've found a place to create a spot of green, for a boy whose fifth word was flower.