The planter is hidden under a tangled mass of green onions, strawberries, bell pepper, basil, and most of all, tomatoes. The tomato plants coil around a basil stalk, reaching out over the grass hungrily, fruit straining. Delicate grape tomatoes drape across the plant tops. Romas rot in the soil, to heavy to be held up. Big Boys in varying shades of green, yellow, and orange bunch together in a clump. Some grow so fast that they split before ripening. Lift up the branches and spy a tiny jalapeno that has turn black before it could be picked. Branches tumble over the wall like a waterfall, green tendrills dotted with hundreds of yellow flowers.

Meditation Scenario

You're in the middle of the ocean, alone. It's quiet and you are small. You breathe.

You're on an African savannah, lying beneath a spreading tree. A pride of lionesses sleep nearby in the heat of the afternoon. Birds and insects chatter.

You listen, and remember how the world really is.


A woman brings her cat into the vet's office in a cardboard box covered with a yellow bath towel. There's an edge in her voice, which is a little too loud, as she announces to anyone who will listen that the cat is here to provide a urine sample and that if they don't hurry up he will pee in the box. The Hispanic women at the front desk barely acknowledge her and continue to type away at their computers. The woman is in her late sixties or seventies and very thin. She's wearing a t-shirt and purple shorts with purple rubber sandals. She tries a few more times and attempts to engage us in commiserating. The cat is 17, but he's so sweet. It's so expensive to treat his many health problems, and how do you know when to stop? He's the friendliest cat, and will go up to anyone, just looking for attention.

A female doctor comes out front and takes the cat away in his cardboard box, now wet with urine. The staff eventually explains how to collect a urine sample from a cat using a special cat litter. The woman seems to understand, but natters on about a pill-dispensing device that she's spied in the wall display until someone gives up and explains it to her.

Another older woman enters with a Corgi mix, which looks like an ordinary dog with malformed legs. His name is Billy and he's not excited about getting his rabies shot. His owner has to walk him to the door because he decides not to cooperate.

The waiting room smells of fear and ammonia. The wall is covered in pictures of pets brought back from the brink by caring doctors. A pitiful pile of "Lost Pet" posters sits on the reception desk. CNN blares from the TV, talking about the buried miners in Utah.