I have an essay published at The Millions. This is a lovely literary site I’ve followed for years now and it is such an honor to be published there (especially after I had a couple of rejections from them in the past.)
This essay is a braided one, with personal and literary aspects to it. I write about how Voltaire’s Candide inspired both my physical garden and my literary one. Along the way, I share thoughts from Virginia Woolf, May Sarton, Diane Ackerman, Adam Gopnik and . . . The Martian (by Andy Weir.)
It took me the best part of a year to tinker with it until I was ready to send it out.
The first real garden I grew on my own was in 1996, when I was in my mid-20s. I had graduated as an engineer and started working at a pneumatics manufacturer in the British Midlands. My one-bedroom rental was in an old semi-detached two-story house where the local council authorities had converted each floor into a separate flat and sold off to private owners. Each flat had a small, equally sectioned area of the backyard. From my upstairs kitchen and bathroom windows, I could see the entire backyard with its two neatly fenced-off plots.
Read the complete essay at The Millions.