Michaela Merz

A usual Sunday

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When I came home on Saturday evening, my first way was to my vegetable garden. My vegetable garden is my pride, my baby, my passion. As with one’s own children, the success is mixed. Every now and then it works out marvellous and then we, all our neighbours and half of the family in Switzerland and abroad eat the fruits of my efforts. So for example six years ago, when I had planted cauliflower and it had grown like mad. For weeks we ate cauliflower dishes with the effect that since then the children refuse to eat cauliflower. Organic or not.

In the meantime I became more modest and I only experiment to a limited extent. My standard programme are runner beans, tomatoes and courgette.

This spring the weather treated my plants poorly. It was cold and wet and the runner beans did not grow. I had to plant them twice again. The third seed grow fantastic and we were overjoyed. Then there was the terrible storm with wind speeds of 135 km/h, which did not just tore away my sun-blinds, had blown way the tomato’s shed but had also destroyed the wonderful tomato plants. It had not caused any damage to the runner beans, simply because they had not grown at that time!!!

Therefore my first way on Saturday evening was to see my beans. There were there and looked most promising. They had grown, were thriving and looked like up-and-coming. I was very happy about them.

On Sunday morning I get up at 7.30am and take my first cup of coffee. It is quiet. During the night it was raining, the air is fresh but the sky is unfriendly.

Suddenly the sky turns dark and ear-deafening noise announces an end to the world. Huge walnut-sized hailstones crackle against the windows. Like this I imagine the apocalypse. My youngest one (5) awakes terrified and calls for me stricken with fear. Together we watch the wonder of nature powerlessly.

The thunderstorm was unusually long but finally it stopped. We take our wellies and despite the still heavy rain we run outside. At least no more hail. The street is green and white. Green from the torn leaves and white from the hailstones. My vegetable garden is no longer there. The hail has destroyed and torn all my plants. There is nothing, but really nothing left. Only the hailstones, and they in a layer of several centimetres. I clear them away but under this layer of ice nothing could survive. My flowers, vegetable and indoor plants, which I had put outside the week before for “summer holidays”, are either no longer there or only a few pitiful stems rise from the ground.

I am close to crying. But before I can start to cry, there is a heavy thunder and I see how the birch in the neighbourhood starts moving and falls on the house at the corner. I was standing there, speechless and unable to move.

A few minutes were enough to completely destroy my garden and because of a few seconds my neighbour has to repair his roof. In comparison with the fallen tree my devastated garden is only a bagatelle. That shows again how relative everything is. I save the tears for later. Perhaps I plant the runner beans for the fourth time, once it stops raining!!!

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One thought on “A usual Sunday

  1. Oh, Michaela, I feel your pain. I am so frustrated this summer with my flowers, tomatoes and peppers I always grow on my balconies. Our spring and summer weather has not been kind to them, that’s for sure.

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