change is good

I know better than to apologize for not blahblahging for the better part of a year but I am sorry because it’s put me out of practice. And I have things I want to (remember how to) say.

For starters, this:

Somewhere close to 15 years ago I came back home to RI from the West Coast because I needed a change. While searching for gainful employment my mother’s best friend’s sister offered me a temporary part-time gardening job at Blithewold. Less than a month or so in I felt like I had won the life’s-work lottery and stopped looking for anything else.

I was lucky to land a career in public horticulture, and you know how much I loved it! But in the last couple of years I have felt a shift. I’m not above calling it a mid-life crisis. Even as I created a new garden at Mount Hope Farm from scratch, and helped renovate others there, I started to feel more wiped than excited. More nappish than ambitious. More -meh- than evangelical. And because I’m as tuned in as the average lapsed yogi I tried to pay attention to that.

It occurred to me that maybe horticulture chose me. That’s cool. I’m so glad it did! But because I still want to want to garden, here at Squeezins especially, I decided it was time to make my own career choice and fill my workadays with something different. Something non-plant-related.

Once again I have been lucky. I have always loved libraries as a place to go where no one will give you the hairy eyeball for sitting quietly and getting shit done. Or for wandering aimlessly, staring into the middle distance, and getting nothing done. Also all of the books! I don’t feel the need to read every single one but just being around so much information and different perspectives is reassuring. I could know things. Understand more. There’s an app a book for that. I used to dream of living in the stacks; I always figured working in them would be the next best thing.

clean pawI looked forward to every shift I worked at Rogers Free Library’s main circulation desk and I will miss that place, the staff and patrons madly. But I’m wicked excited to start full-time tomorrow as the circulation supervisor at the Middletown Public Library.

My fingernails are clean; dirt tattoos and thorn scars have faded. This blog (and its title) might need to change with the times. Or maybe as I start gardening for actual pleasure again I’ll dig in here again too. I want to want to. I think I will. (Pretty sure. Mostly. Maybe.) Thanks, as always — and more than ever — for reading.

5 thoughts on “change is good”

  1. Thank you for bringing me up to date. I had missed that you had left Mount Hope. Nice job change; if you have a garden and a library you have everything you need–or something like that.

    EXACTLY! You haven’t missed much — I finished out the season at MHF so haven’t been gone long (and didn’t make it public until now). Fingers crossed they hire one of the many talented, energetic, and ambitious horticulturists in the area to keep those gardens going! -kris

  2. Follow your heart- what you reap and sow might change but you’ll still be a gardener of something- everything.. seeds of flowers, seeds of thought, of hope… blooms for a better world. Happy journeys!

    Thanks, Jen! For this and your giant role in my discernment process. It’s funny — I do totally still feel like I’m cultivating things at the library. -kris

  3. I hope you keep writing Kristen…I’d be reading..your thoughts on life are as valuable as your gardening expertise…

    Cheryl, thank you! I’m sorry I didn’t made it back for a garden visit. —Next year! -kris

  4. I sure hope that library has a signed copy of your Plantiful book – I rarely buy books but bought yours in a flash when I could see it was practical, inspirational, had a wonderful perspective and simply beautiful. Congratulations, Kris, on your move. (After 16 years of garden maintenance, I too made a change to an indoor conservation job, and look forward to puttering in just MY garden, before and after work….feels great!).

    Thank you, Sylvia!! Your comment made my day. I’m glad to know I’m in good company and yes — the library does own a copy Plantiful! (It even circulates!) -kris

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