While my neighbours are at work, I climb the fence and slash their artificial lawn into latticed piecrust. Their garden is grey and green. No incidental blooms of forget-me-nots or foxgloves. Just uniform grass bordered by foot-high evergreens and paving.
Puncturing the underlay and weed membrane, I picture the wildness that waits patiently in the earth. I scatter handfuls of seed before smoothing the puckered turf back into place leaving fractures just wide enough for stems of cowslip and yarrow to nuzzle skyward. Freshly exposed worms and insects buck and twist; with each new slit, the soil begins to breathe.
First published with Retreat West (March 2021).