The global pandemic took its toll on my mental health. I grew depressed and sank into a period of feeling sorry for myself. My therapy cat, Chong, had died at 18 years. I had raised her from a kitten. She slept with me every night. I grieved her making biscuits in my lap.
Every year at the end of the month of September I begin the preparations for the autumn harvest in October. This year Mother Nature threw a snow storm in my garden and made my life twice as difficult as usual. My corn, squash, beans, chile, tomatoes, herbs, hollyhocks, chamomile, cilantro, marigolds, geraniums, phlox, roses were all covered in four inches of snow and the temperature dropped to 29 degrees.
Then the wind came. The storm blew over trash cans and sent them flying down the street. I grabbed sheets, trash bags, string, scissors and headed to the garden fighting the wind and snow blowing in my face and soaking my clothes. I fought hard and I won, but the wind kept howling and blew the sheets and bags down the ditch. The weight of the snow bent the trees still in leaves and broke branches, the plants leaned to the ground and bowed to the storm of mother nature.
It technically was still summer in southern Colorado in September. The weather changed from scorching hot to frigid cold. I feared for my Chicana garden. But, I prayed, I smudged, I cursed, I fretted, I got into my survival supershero suit and I tackled the job and I saved the garden from frost and devastation.
I watched the International Latino Book Awards on Zoom and held my breath for my sister, Aimee Medina Carr. Her book, River of Love was nominated for two awards. She won for best Ebook. I felt elated for her incredible prestigious award. And I felt proud of her because I had seen her through all her hard work and edits and revisions, and countless hours of coaching each other to carry on and finish her first novel and my first mystery. It all began at the sea side in California's beautiful Dillon Beach. We spent two weeks there enjoying each other's company and writing our first novels.
Her victory snapped me out of my state of numbness. I had been watching the world crumble on CNN. I felt it couldn't get any worse, then it did. The next day it got worse, and worse. I turned the TV off and went back to work in my garden in the sunshine and blue skies. I pruned, I transplanted, I watered, and I fed my garden.
As crazy as it sounds, my garden had been damaged by the storm, however, with a little love and care it sprang back and continued to bloom into Autumn. And the joy I felt for Aimee's award filled my heart with pride and I got back to work on my novel. She has supported me in my writing and kept me going when I felt like tossing it all in. I came out of my funk and got busy.
I have to finish my novel, The Colorado Sisters. I have to plunge in deep and discover what I have left in me after all of this depression. I'm going to succeed and no matter what happens I can get on with life and count my blessings.