Gardening in a Burning House

Simone Samuels
2 min readJun 1, 2022

I bought begonias. And hibiscus. And roses. I planted lettuce and beans and mint and kale. The rest of the garden is at my parents’ house.

I really wanted to turn my balcony into a summer oasis this year. I don’t know why. I’ve had a balcony in all of my apartments for years now, all of them bigger than this one.

But when people are getting shot up in the news, when the thought of dating again makes you feel nauseous and being single is exhausting, when you go through a power outage and have to throw out a fridge of food and buy groceries when inflation is already high, when it feels like you’ll never get ahead, when you are just plain tired, I suppose I understand the impetus to want to decorate and find beauty — create beauty. You kind of just want to build yourself a sanctuary — a space in time to shelter you from the noise and nastiness. A place to sip tea and watch the sunrise and pretend, if only for a moment, that you are not living in a burning house.

Cognitively, I have been taught, I know, and I can see that we’re living in the last days. This world is literally sick. Depravity is rampant. Even if heaven is a farce and God is not real, from, at the very least, a resource perspective and an environmental perspective, we can’t go on like this forever. It’s just everything — pandemic, mass shootings, school shootings, war — all in the same week, not to mention the other typical stuff like racism, cancer etc. It’s a beautiful but absolutely brutal place in which to live.

But one thing I hadn’t appreciated was how heartbreakingly hard it would be to live in the end times and witness destruction and moray decay all around you. To see parents hug pictures of their slain children or watch people struggle with newfound disability due to COVID. I thought that maybe I would look at the things happening with a knowingness — a knowing stoicism or a relentless sigh. I thought that maybe I wouldn’t be here — I’d be spared and God might have decided, whenever He chooses to decide, to finally put a period in my story after so many commas. I figured it would be scary, but I didn’t think it would be so…hard.

And so I buy begonias. And hibiscus. And roses.

Simone Samuels

I like big stories and I cannot lie. Authentic, transparent musings & connecting with others so we can all feel less alone.