October 19, 2015

Life as a writer seems full of distractions. At the moment, I spend most of my workdays at home trying to concentrate on writing the text for the book I’m working on. For hours each day, I am hunched over my laptop typing away, cutting and pasting, testing out words, rewriting sentences, looking up information. But, I find myself quite often distracted from my writing task, either by incoming emails, dirty dishes sitting in the sink, a cat running in with a butterfly in its mouth, a phone call from a friend or colleague. Today, I managed to distract myself by sending out an email to our gardener friend Tomas (see August 21) asking if he might be free sometime soon to plant some fruit trees I have had sitting in pots for months. I’d tried planting them in the garden before, but they hadn’t thrived where they were, so I’d dug them up and revived them in pots. Now they looked ready to try their luck in the garden again in the spot Tomas had recommended to me on his last visit.

I heard back from Tomas right away. He was close by and had some time to spare between jobs. He and his partner Joey arrived momentarily, and when I explained what I needed, they got to work planting the trees, feeding them some nutritious fertilizer and pruning them lovingly to encourage them to grow. After they had finished with the trees, they carried the extra soil up to a spot in the garden that seemed to be sinking (yikes!) and Joey even repaired a collapsed arched trellis I had constructed a while back. As they worked outside, I tapped away at my computer trying to be creative with words, but after a while, I joined them outside and chatted with them while they worked. When they were done, I paid them the small sum that Tomas had asked for, much less than they deserved. Instead, I offered Joey an unusual plant pot I’d discovered in the bushes and some packets of seeds to plant in the community garden where he has a lot. He seemed happy to take them. When they left I looked at the fruit trees in their new home, imagining them tall and laden with different types of citrus in a few years’ time and feeling very grateful to Tomas and Joey who so cheerfully and generously helped me today. I walked back inside, sat down at my computer and began typing – until the next distraction…

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