Enough / not enough

Dear President Trump,

This morning the dogs and I walked up the arterial in front of our house and I noticed a tiny garden with maybe three bean plants and a couple of tomato plants, none taller than 6 inches. The soil is more dusty gray than brown. The plot is shaded by a house to the east and a large tree to the west so direct sunlight is going to be in short supply. It seems pretty unlikely anything much is going to grow there. The gardener made all the rookie mistakes; poor site selection, going with whatever dirt happened to be there, planting things too close together, not using mulch. Even though I can rattle off all the issues with this little garden, I also admire it and the gardener deeply. It is such an expression of hope and tenacity. They are just going for it. I don’t know these particular neighbors and have no idea what their politics are or how they feel about the state of the world these days, but I am grateful for their garden and the reminder that it’s ok to start things and to be convinced things can grow even if conditions are subpar.

Sometimes we can dial in optimal conditions with things like garden beds, but a lot of times we have to make do. Sometimes in the making do we realize we don’t need things to be perfect to be ok, we actually have what we need even if it’s not all we want. There are also times when we have to face harsh realities that no matter how sincerely we want something to be ok and enough, it really, truly isn’t. Figuring out which side of the enough/not-enough line we are on is hard and it changes. Our answers are no doubt influenced by our feelings of alienation, gratitude, entitlement, and humility along with how much support, respect, and dignity we experience. Our answers are influenced by whether we can feed ourselves and our children, whether we can afford our heart medicine, whether we have someplace safe to sleep. Our answers are influenced by whether we think one can never, ever have too much money, property, influence, power.

May those of us who have lived too long in other people’s shade, get enough sunlight. May those of us who have been taking more than our fair share step aside and recognize when enough is enough.

May we all, including you, be safe.
May we all, including you, be happy.
May we all, including you, be healthy.
May all of our lives, including yours, unfold and intersect peacefully.
May we all, including you, learn to share.

Tracy Simpson

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