yes, i know. it’s so beautiful in my little brooklyn backyard. from the wet, muddy pit that it was about 22 years ago when i first moved in to the beautiful quirky yard filled with roses, basil and burgeoning tomatoes and cucumbers not to mention overgrown patches of irises – my backyard is our own little oasis. when i was just out of treatment – 5 years ago this summer – i wasn’t up for much. i remember walking down the street in park slope, brooklyn near my work, and seeing a beautiful flowering vine. it wasn’t clematis…which are vines i have many of against the fences. i bought it immediately and sometime in the next week, planted it near the foot of my climbing yellow roses. i don’t remember much of that summer but i remember sitting on the back rocker just watching my garden and thinking that so few people took the time to sit in their garden. late that fall, i finally looked up the vine that i planted and, much to my horror, found out that the red trumpet vine that i had purchased and planted was deemed to be one of the most invasive vines around…it would take over and strangle all else. without a moment’s hesitation, i went to my yard, dug up the vine, and discarded it.
last week, i took time out from a busy work schedule to delay heading into the office – i gave myself an hour in the cool morning to get down on my knees and really focus on weeding out a patch of the garden. one by one i plucked out the usual offenders…the rain had made them easy to grab so that their roots came out – giving me hope that i was winning the weeding game. then i looked over and stared. there it was. at the foot of the yellow climbing roses…the telltale green vine that said that my excavation 4.5 years earlier was a fool’s errand. invasive vine. it seemed the very definition of invasive. it was still there. and growing. and probably spreading. and i started crying. in my own garden. a cruel reminder that you never know that what you think has been taken out of you isn’t still growing. i hate cancer. i’ve gone back into my garden … but it took a few days. i hate cancer.