Do Gardens Believe in Love Languages?

By Ishrat Jahan

My garden creeps towards entropy, refusing to grow and bloom. In heat-waves there is a collective surge of bending and drooping. As autumn falls, some shed their leaves and give up entirely, while others cling onto their whole selves choosing a slow ritual of sacrifice –  bud by bud, leaf by leaf; until I wake up to find a 3ft-by-3ft absence. 

I tended to their drooping selves and browning bodies in states of panic and states of resignation, with a constant fog of guilt. I’ve watered, repotted, fertilised, composted, pruned, hoped, and prayed. I have even tried singing. It refuses to let me care for it, keep it company. It pricks me with this thorn, of what is possibly rejection, everytime I step into it with all my will and hope for revival. This garden finds love in being tied to a fate of unhurried doom. 

Ishrat Jahan is a researcher focusing on gender and health who lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Twitter: @jahan1620