From the first time I came to the Czech Republic, I was always fascinated by their adorable cottages and gardens. I often listened to stories from my students about their weekends at the garden. Whether for work or relaxation, family outings or barbecue parties, the garden is a place many Czechs hold dear.
Having never been very good at expressing my personal wishes, I was unable to secure an invitation to a Czech cottage and garden until near the end of my second year of teaching. When I finally went, it was just as much fun as I had imagined it would be. There is something about being in the little cottage villages that makes an outsider finally feel like a real part of the community.
Since becoming a genuine part of a Czech family, my relationship with the garden has changed. I know it now in a much more intimate way. Ere is a combination of hard work, and the sweet fruits of our labor as well. Something about being back in the garden, smelling the fresh air, and feeling the strain in my muscles as I help to haul away rocks and dirt to complete various projects around takes me back to a different point in time. I can suddenly imagine myself living here again, teaching English, traveling by train, and not having to worry about running a store. Even though there is constant work to be done, it is so different from my daily life that it wipes away time completely.
We have been at the garden almost every day. We have eaten fresh peaches, plums, blueberries, and even a couple stray strawberries. There is the smell of dirt and grass, decaying fruit and fresh dill, fruit, flowers and sweat. Yesterday afternoon, after a hard working morning in the garden, I made a huge mistake. I let myself sleep. Not just a little nap, but serious exhausted sleep. It went on all night. So much for the invigoration of a hard mornings work, but at least it gave me something nice to write about :)