*this piece was previously published at TheMighty.com*
What I Learned About Depression From Watching My Grass ‘Die’
We planted new grass at our home. We had the entire yard reseeded. It was quite the process. We cared for it. Watered it, multiple times a day. Checked on it often to see what we could do to make it thrive. To ensure it would grow. Winter passed and spring came and the grass was glorious. Perfectly soft, lush and green. We skipped the recommended spring fertilizer because it seemed OK. When things seem OK you let them be, right? It appeared healthy and strong on the outside. I played chase with my daughter and dog in the evenings, barefoot. My heart so full it could burst.
Then summer came, the heat came and the beautiful green grass was replaced with a patchy brown mess. I assumed it was dead. All the work and time and money and now we had a yard full of dead grass. We should have fertilized it, we should not have assumed it was OK. It was just grass, but still, I was distraught. The gardener who did the work informed us the grass actually wasn’t dead. He explained it simply shut down in the heat to protect itself. To survive. So, it looked dead, but really it was alive beneath the surface. What an interesting concept. Survival. In a way, I guess we’re not so different from grass.
Enjoying what you’re reading? Want to support my storytelling? Find out how you can become a patron today for as little as $1 an episode!