I’m ten years old. The war years. There is to be a pet parade down Central Avenue in my home town, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I’m wearing a costume made from crepe paper – red, white, and blue. Gail Patrick, a Hollywood movie star, rides in a convertible promoting war bonds.
We grew vegetables as part of the war effort. I loved working in the garden with my dad. I loved working in My Victory Garden. I loved the deep, rich smell of the earth; of things growing , of tidy rows of potatoes and carrots, the sheer joy of harvesting your labour.
We’re in the garden. My Victory Garden. It’s early Monday morning. August 1, 2011. The air is heavy with the smell of new mown hay. Good Husband is weeding. The edges of the garden beautifully clean and tidy. We treat this garden as precious green jewel.
I did gently around the potatoes for the hidden treasures. I grasp wonderfully feathery carrot fronds and pull. Oh joy. Plump, orange carrots spring from the earth.
It’s very quiet here in the garden. We listen to the gentle bird songs. The distant murmur of a tractor. We nibble fresh garden peas. This is indeed a Victory Garden. It gives us peace, calm and at this sad time a small measure of happiness.