Home-Grown Love Letter


In my Oxfordshire garden in 2012 I spelled out my name and my lover’s name with dandelion leaf, pods, seeds, sweet pea tendrils, and anemone.

The neighbor’s horse on the other side of the wall nuzzled me and searched my pockets for fruit as I arranged my foraged love letter. The horse, the wind, and a wayward bee nearly sabotaged the twinning of our names.

This was one of my first romantic overtures to Sean, one of many. Some I haven’t even thought of yet.

Our names are reminiscent of  specimens from a natural history museum; the natural history of our relationship, the tentative beginnings…

True to my tag line “The Wandering Poet” I don’t live in the Oxford house any longer, and have lost the enchanted garden, but there will be more.

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For instance, in Florence, from 2015 through 2017, I had a garden of terracotta roof tiles with a view of the neighbors’ laundry drying in the sun. Each day there were new textures and colors, crops harvested into baskets by women in the windows across from mine.

These past few months in the Chiltern Hills of England, I’ve been thinking of gardens again. Last week my husband unrolled spirals of grassy turf over our chalk and flint garden. Strange that a lawn can be unrolled. We have about a month left in this glorious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and we’ve vowed to pack up every inch and steal away with it when we return to Italy.

Incidentally, Sean built me a custom desk and swivelling, reclining office chair here from scraps of wood and chair parts on hand (it’s the most comfortable chair/ chaise longue imaginable).

I asked him to please pack our office in his carry-on luggage when we move back to Italy next month. I can’t imagine living without that chair now. I can lean back all the way, prop my feet up on my desk overlooking these stunning hills and work on my novel in my lap.
He said he’d do it.

And the view. The desk goes so well with this view. It helps me procrastinate when I’m busy writing. We have to pack that too.

True. We’ll get it all in there somehow.

And the sheep. They’re part of the view. But from here they’re super tiny, like little plastic sheep, so they can probably fit in the side pocket of your carry-on or something.

That’s manageable. 

And the sky, because it’s half the view. Oh, and the clouds!


Well the clouds will cushion all the other things, you know?

Well in that case…

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