If I Had a Little Garden


Just look at that. Look! And notice the spray bottle in the background.

There are two things I’ve noticed at my job. The first, I’ve already mentioned. Inception, as in planting thoughts into someone’s mind in order to make them do something, continues to be something I see employees planning on doing to one another almost daily. If an idea is unpopular, if it will ruffle feathers, the idea doesn’t get scrapped—it just gets “Leonardo DiCaprio’d” as I’ve come to think of it. The other thing I’ve noticed is that almost everyone here seems to have had some odd former profession. We’ve got a few former actors, and a few former musicians. My boss was a Catholic priest. The girl in research used to live in a cabin in the middle the woods completely alone, which by definition makes her a former hippie. And Julia, the tiny Hispanic cleaning woman, used to be a nun.

“Hola, Hooo-lia,” I greet her in my best, meaning worst, Spanish accent.

“Hola, Jas-meeen,” she replies in her best, but in need of major improvement, English.

I noticed that when I stood up I could only see the tops of two or three heads in front of their computers. I thought the girls on the row opposite me had gone home early, and only realized they were still in the office when they called out goodbye. I walked into their aisle and found C and C on the floor. One was holding a big bag of rocks and the other was pouring soil into a glass. My heart sped up, and then slowed again as disappointment crept in. It was another terrarium, the third or fourth one in less than a month.


A terrarium, in case you don’t already know, is one of those fancy glass holders with rocks, soil, and plants encased under a lid. Some have holes cut in them, but many of them are sealed shut. The idea is that plants make their own oxygen, so it becomes its own teeny-tiny planet. And besides all of that it’s pretty to look upon. Sarah started the trend, setting the bar high by purchasing hers from West Elm, and now the row has followed her lead. That’s Sarah’s above. Not only did she make that, but then!—then she went onto Etsy.com and purchased teeny tiny foxes to place inside. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s absolutely, undeniably precious.

And I want one.

I’ve been listening to an amazing series of sermons by one of my favorite Pastors. (Wow, I’m feeling really link happy today.) In it, he discusses how most people fail to get in sync with God over the decisions He wants them to make, and they wind up experiencing some sort of financial lack only because they’re out of sync with God’s will for your life at that particular season. People, it’s like he’s talking directly to me. I’ve submitted to God in so many areas of my life, but when it comes to money I’m all, “Holla! Spend it, spend it, spend it!” And then sometimes I’m like, “Whaddup Jesus, here go ‘yo tithes, now I’ma go spend ‘dis cash!”. And more often than not I go, “Whaaat? I’m gon’ make it rain in Church and everywhere else toooo.”

I couldn’t go on like that, so I made a decision to change my habits. And though we’re still getting to know one another, you should know that when I make a decision, it’s DONE. From here on out, I seek direction about my finances the same way I do everything else. And got-dangit-heck-crap-rats wouldn’t you know that means that I can’t just buy terrarium supplies because I feel like it? So for now, I just stare at theirs.

K built hers out of an old mason jar. She’s the only one who dared to go with the sealed lid version, pictured below. Personally, I like the rustic look of it, but am not so fond of the steamy mist that gathers on the sides of it. It makes it look dirty. Which I guess is why Julia, our cleaning woman, keeps taking the lid off at night, spraying it with windex, and then leaving the top off. K’s facial expression every morning is priceless. Priceless. She’s baffled, and stands there asking aloud why Julia keeps cleaning it while the rest of us laugh hysterically. Julia used to be a nun. She ain’t gonna go for that save-the-earth mess, not if it means it looks dirty.

But back to Sarah. The terrarium drama reached a new level when Sarah first purchased her tiny foxes. First there was the debate over whether to get foxes, or houses. Apparently, there is a woman on Etsy who specializes in terrarium décor. I want to meet this woman, for reasons I can’t quite nail down just yet. Only I was here when her package arrived. Each was protected in bubble-wrap. She took all three out, but a fourth bubble-wrapped shape lay on her desk. “I only ordered three,” she said. “What is this?”

Inside was something that I declared was a skunk, but Greg insisted was a badger. Being only one of three men on this floor, we decided he was right. “Foxes and badgers don’t live in the forest together and they’re enemies, so that’s how I know it’s NOT a badger”, I said loudly. But Greg said it was indeed a badger…so we named it Badger. To prove my point that the two groups are enemies, I made them search for a website detailing how the two animal groups don’t cohabitate. What we found instead was a graphic video of a badger kicking a fox’s a—- um, fox butt. I mean, really kicking it. Sarah cut it off right as the badger goes to bite the fox in half, and yelled,

“What is she doing? Why would that Etsy %$#@$ send me a badger, huh? Is she messing with me? IS SHE MESSING WITH ME?!”

I once tried to calm Sarah down about something different, and she lifted up a spray bottle that she uses to hydrate the plants over the wall that separates us and told me “You be quiet or I’ll spray you like you were a bad cat.” Still, she has really great fashion sense, and it’s no secret that I’m drawn to people with big personalities. Since I’m still learning the ends and outs here, I bother her a lot with questions. That in itself is probably worth of a few sprays.

My mind would-a ben stayed on terrariums and badgers and getting sprayed, but God always knows how to remind me where I’m really headed. Just got TWO new projects that require more of my time than I think I have, but hey, it’ll get done. It always does.

A little soul inception goes a long way.


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