By M.S

This post is part of our Field Notes series written by survivors of intimate partner abuse.

Hard To Say Goodbye…

When I started in the garden at GreenHouse17, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of hard work that went in to maintaining a farm. I assumed it was all picking flowers, running through fields and butterfly kisses…

It wasn’t.

It turned out to be a lot of digging holes, fish fertilizer and stinky compost. A lot of cutting flowers that beneath the leaves housed a universe of spiders and numerous other unknown insects (but mostly spiders). It was shoveling pounds of leaves (mostly on the wet soil) and dumping them on the compost. It was arranging flowers, which wasn’t and still isn’t as easy as it sounds per Jessica’s method.

Needless to say the work in the garden was not easy. But that isn’t to say it wasn’t rewarding. I began this journey with a few of the residents here at GreenHouse17. But most memorable were the interns that I grew to really care about.

First there was Shannon, who was feisty and had an interesting take on indoor and outdoor bugs. She was very cool. Then there was Mel, who touched my heart with her no nonsense attitude and the way she genuinely cared about my life and what I planned to do with the rest of my life. Meghan, who seemed to ask endless questions about me and tried to understand the world of abuse of which I’ve grown accustomed. Lastly, Rachel, whose last day was yesterday. I was so tired from messing with the compost that I didn’t cook for our potluck. I felt bad but of course easy like Sunday morning Rachel understood. Her laugh was like no other and her presence was almost angelic.

Tears…Gonna miss those girls.

And now Jessica, who is still here with her hippy dress and nose piercing. LOL. She is one reason why I am still waking up at the break of dawn and trudging down that gravel path to the kitchen. She is like no other, full of energy, life and spirit. I want what she has, she has influenced me in so many wonderful ways, and I feel like I can call her friend.