1. Water it. If at first you can only manage tears this is OK, but after a while the tears are too salty, and you need to find something else. A bucket full of rainwater is good start. Just one every day, and then two and then four and then…And make sure you wear your new, too short, watermelon pajamas. Just because.
2. Take some time to stand back and have a good look at it. See what remains, if the foundation is solid – the earth in which is grows, the pot that holds the earth, the way the soil is made up of many different parts. Find gratitude for what is there, even in the dried up leaves and the broken-down sticks and the parts that seem unsalvageable. Did you need them all anyway?
3. Pull out the weeds. One by one or all at once. If you have some beautiful friends that like weeding, ask them to help. Or sometimes they will just help anyway, just by the fact they are beautiful.
4. Forgive the fucker who was meant to be part of the whole garden thing and left. Oh, I guess if I’m still saying fucker I haven’t done this one. Really wanted to be all upbeat and useful with my dot points. I’ll have to come back to this one.
5. Watch what grows in the unexpected places. Like the basil blooming under the lime tree. Glossy green, fragrant, healthy and not specifically planted there as part of some great garden plan. Just when it found space it grew and grew and grew.
6. Find hope in the new things that you can add to the garden, as well as the old things you can cherish back to life. Cherish. What a beautiful word.
7. If you need find someone or someone-s to help. People who know all about gardens and reticulation and lawns and soil and paving and recovering gardens. Sometimes (in fact most of the time) as cool and brave as you are you can’t do it all on your own. People with knowledge or talent or coolness or courage sure help when it feels a bit overwhelming.
8. Forgive the person who gave you your garden back. If they didn’t want to share it then they weren’t the right person. Thank them for the gift of returning your garden to the rightful owner. YOU.
9. Bring your garden back to life.