When we purchased our home in Nashville, we imagined our backyard not with a shed filled with rot and termites, but a beautiful greenhouse. I started dumpster diving around the neighborhood whenever I would see a construction project – fishing out cast away windows and glass doors of all sorts that I imagined cobbling together into a spectacular web of light.
I imagined lemons and tomatoes. Peppers and herbs. Greens of all sorts. A table in the center where we could have dinner surrounded by greenery hanging from the ceiling. Outside I was going to grow potatoes, squash and carrots in neat little lines. I imagined Lucy pulling a knobby carrot covered in dirt out of the ground and offering it to Jack to sniff.
I researched hobby greenhouses and the best times to plant in Tennessee while Andi looked at paint swatches and lights.
It began slowly, with the act of destruction. The sweeping away of the old piece by piece. There is something satisfying about this act. It is quick and final. It feels like you are moving forward but really it is quickly backward as you clear the way for what is next.
Once the old was cleared away, each of the windows was arranged like a puzzle. This door here, that window sash there. A frame was constructed and each piece added slowly gave the structure more strength. With each wall, the structure looked more like the greenhouse in my vision (or Andi’s Pinterest board).
Each step new, each plan written and revised. Building was harder than tearing down. A window cracked. The foundation wasn’t even. A small letter containing code violations and trips to Metro Codes to get a permit. The hammer was heavy and the measurements always just an eighth of an inch short. But slowly it is taking shape.
The act of creation – of building something new – is frustrating. You might see some results, followed by some setbacks, followed by a little more progress. Pride accumulates with each board connected and each setback overcome.
Destroying something is easy. Building something is hard.