The Path to the Cornerstore

Matthew - Stephens City, Virginia
Entered on November 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature

I used to always take the road on my walks, a mere three eighths of a mile, to the local corner store. I had heard from a friend about an overgrown path which went there. Rambling around behind my housing unit one day, I found the path. I took the path, nearly parallel to the road. I believe everyone should have their own path through a field, and their own garden: their own little piece of nature. My little piece of nature was overgrown at first. After walking the path for few weeks and thus trampling the grass and weeds in the field, some neighborhood kids on ATVs helped me out immensely. I started the enrichment of the path in May, 2008. The path to the store is much more peaceful than the road; it buffers the encroaching city. It’s also much cooler and aesthetically pleasing to walk on the path among blooming perennials.

After the ATV trails were created, I borrowed the apartment manager’s lawn tractor. With blades churning and cutting deck level on high, I drove on the slowest speed along my trail. I had purchased some wild flower seeds from a nursery and scattered them along the path. The flowers soon bloomed, as promised.

I had planted a garden on each side of the front stoop of my apartment; my neighbors had given me their garden space. My grandmother gave me a spare trowel, and a bucket for watering and my mother’s English gardens needed a thinning badly between its cluttered flower bulbs. I also thinned some purple-and-white irises nearby my apartment.

In July, on the path to the store to get a custom sandwich, I noticed orange daylilies, which have edible petals particularly good in ambrosia. I decided some transplanting was in order while I ate. Using a trowel, I battled insects including the two Japanese hornets. This colloquial name draws memories of pancake sized welts. Yet, I filled in the daylily’s place with blanket flowers called Granadas, and in the Granadas place in my small gardens, the daylilies. All of the flowers took the transplant very well, and will bloom year after year.

Just getting off of the asphalt and into the dirt found me becoming friends with a hedgehog who happens to eat salami; I call him Fritzle. The entire process when I finished in July brought joy to neighbors who appreciate the garden and the tomato factory, a well fertilized nightshade which produced too many tomatoes. My path is another reason to smile, and I must quote Jack Nicholson, in the movie The Departed, near the beginning of the film. His character sums up what I believe when he says, “I’ve never wanted to be a product of my environment; I want my environment to be a product of me.” This couldn’t be truer of my resolve when walking to the store or when thinking the world taking the path to ‘green.’