BY LIVA OLINA

My grandma lost her wedding ring in the soil, but grandpa found it 7 years later digging roses and put it back on her finger.
Now I have it hanging down my necklace close to my heart.

In the times when our brain runs like an internet browser with 10 tabs open, while 2 of them are frozen and some unknown source is playing music in the background… it’s important to find a way to switch all the madness off. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive a remote control with this body and the manual button can’t be found. Luckily most of us somehow manage to find our own way, if not to switch it off, then at least to put it into sleep mode when needed. And let me guess, now, when the summer and gardening time is present, the air around feels calmer and we can breathe peacefully...

I had a grandma whose good health and joy of life hailed from the garden. She waited for the first months of spring so she could put the seeds in the boxes and start to grow little seedlings. This would be her motivation to wake up in the morning and run to the other room to check the soil. Is it coming out already? How big did they grow over night? She would talk to them and water them till they were ready to become more independent and move out to the green house or garden. When it came to gardening, she could do everything. There was no back pain, nothing was too heavy, no morning too early or evening too late to take care of her roses, dahlias, cucumbers, carrots and a hundred more things only she knew. When the autumn came, the garden was ready for winter sleep and all the vegetables were pickled, looking at the world from inside the jars; she would pack her bag, wrap her hair curlers, put on her nicest blouse and go to the hospital. Herself. She suddenly had back pain, her neck was too stiff, arm too heavy and… Till the next spring came and she suddenly felt more alive than ever.

I had a grandma whose good health and joy of life hailed from the garden.
She waited for the first months of spring so she can put the seeds in the boxes and start to grow little seedlings.

My friend’s mum has many companies, spends her days in the office wearing a women’s suit, and has started to accept that her phone may one day grow together with her hand or ear. On weekends she flees to her countryside house to take off all the formal clothes and work in the garden. She literally puts her hands in the soil till her elbows to see how good it feels. She claims that working in the garden makes her forget all the things from the office, takes away all the stress and charges her with some fresh energy. She spends all weekend in between flowerbeds and then takes a long bath to soak all the dirt off before returning to the high heels and office walls.

I planted seeds from my Latvian grandmas’ garden on Mexico City's' rooftop.
Pumpkins, cucumbers and many other kinds of flowers. Flowers, which had never seen the Mexican sun and tropical weather before.

When I was living in one of the world’s biggest cities and missing nature like crazy, I decided to make a rooftop garden to be surrounded by greenery whenever needed. I would bring seeds from my Latvian grandma’s garden to Mexico City and plant them there. Pumpkins, cucumbers and many kinds of flowers. Flowers, which had never seen the Mexican sun and tropical weather before. Oh, how they liked it there. And oh, how much I enjoyed them around. Soil under my nails and unwashable black feet. All the attributes a good model needs… I remember hearing my roommates welcoming the new girl in our apartment with these words: “We also have Liva. When you see a girl with soil dirty hands – it’s her!”

My grandparents were both gardeners who used to grow roses to sell them at the local market. My grandma lost her wedding ring in the soil, but grandpa found it 7 years later digging roses and put it back on her finger. Now I have it hanging on my necklace, close to my heart. Close to the heart, which knows, that one day, the garden will be medicine for my soul too.