Life in Williston

Metamorphosis of life

Oct. 27, 2011

By Karen Wyman



Over the past few weeks, the girls and I have been fostering caterpillars and watching with amazement as they transitioned into beautiful monarch butterflies. Soon, the time came to release them and let their journeys begin. We watched in awe as they spread their wings and left our home, and I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed at the symbolism. Some day, my two little ones will also leave home to begin their journeys. I remembered I had a similar feeling a few months ago when we planted our garden. After the butterflies flew out of sight, I went inside and found the girls’ memory books — where I poured out my sentiments during the spring.

May 2011: “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” Dr. Seuss provided my daily mantra for one of the rainiest Mays on record.

“All you two wanted to do was go outside and ride your new bicycles, so I had to be extra creative to keep you entertained. I decided to think of a theme, and each day we would do something new related to it. As you groaned and complained how bored you were, the idea hit me — a garden! Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘Um, mom remember it’s raining outside?’ We wouldn’t actually plant the garden until Memorial Day; however in the meantime, we had lots of planning and research to do!”

“My ultimate goal was to instill in you a love of organic fresh vegetables, with the hope you’d become more adventurous eaters if you were involved from ground to plate! Luckily, it wasn’t hard to sell you on the idea. You couldn’t wait to dig in the dirt. We started out at the library, where we discovered many books on gardening. We figured out what zone we were in and what would grow well in our region. You both loved to look at the pictures and see beautiful vegetables that you had never even heard of. You each chose some vegetables that you wanted to grow, and then it was off to the grocery store to actually touch them and bring some home to sample.”

“We spent another afternoon mapping out the backyard to decide where the garden would get the best mix of sun and shade. You loved drawing pictures of veggies on the different layouts, trying desperately to envision our finished product. Next, it was time for us to shop for supplies. It was so much fun visiting all of the gardening stores right here in Williston. At the first one, we purchased two tiny pairs of ‘Dora the Explorer’ gardening gloves, and a small spade and trowel. At the next store we spoke with a wonderful gentleman who patiently answered all of your questions. He helped us buy tomato cages and poles for beans, and he convinced me a birdbath would look beautiful near our garden. I’m not sure if he worked on commission, but I bought the birdbath just to thank him for answering so many questions!

We spent an amazing day (yes day!) at one of the other local stores, learning all about how to care for our garden. After you each picked out your seeds, another knowledgeable and kind man helped us design each square foot. We decided on a raised bed garden kit and some topsoil and compost. Thank goodness there was an onsite café, because we needed to refuel after all of that planning.

“Before we knew it, the sun was sunny and Daddy helped us build our garden. Every morning filled me with delight when you two would wake up and race outside to see if anything had sprouted yet. You had spent an entire month on this project, and as you should, you both felt extremely invested and proud. I was proud of you also. You were both so helpful and committed every step of the way. I started to cry thinking how fast you were growing up and how someday you won’t want to spend a summer gardening with your mother. Then the wise Dr. Seuss came to mind again. ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’ I will always be thankful for that rainy May.”

As I closed the memory book, I vowed to appreciate and enjoy every moment of the girls’ childhood — after all, it won’t be long until my two little ones will be begging to fly to Mexico for spring break. Hopefully my two little butterflies won’t want to leave for a long time.


Karen Wyman has been a Williston resident for six years, and lives with her husband and twin 4-year-old daughters.