Stepping Back to Move Forward

two brown rabbits
Photo by Jim Long on

On the morning of July 4th, I went outside to check on my garden. No sooner was I on the back step when I noticed a rabbit had hopped into my garden again. Rabbits have been abundant this summer.  To my dog, they have become the new squirrels. Instinctively, I shouted at it, “Out of my garden, Bunny!” my tune changed quickly when I actually got to the garden. The rabbit I had yelled at had retreated to some nearby bushes, but she hadn’t been alone. There were four newborn bunnies laying in a weedy patch near my peas.

“Omigod, omigod, omigod,” I said. “Don’t worry babies, I won’t hurt you.”  I felt horrible for shooing their mother away. My daughter and grandson were visiting, and I quickly called to them that newborn bunnies were in the garden. The bunnies started wriggling. They were still bald and blind, but they made their way through a small hole in the ground. By the time my daughter and grandson made it outside, the last bunny was making its way into the hole.

That afternoon, I saw a couple more adult rabbits, but now adult rabbit sightings are down considerably. I saw one of the babies today, just a face with some fur, and I think a sliver of an eye. From what I’ve read, it isn’t unusual for baby bunnies to be left home alone. Often, they are only fed by Mom Rabbit at dawn and dusk. Mom mixes her fur with grass in order to leave her scent and keep the bunnies protected.

I am still hoping my peas stay safe.  There is one of my bell pepper plants that appear to have vanished completely, and there are plenty of bites out of my strawberry leaves. It’s the second year on my strawberry plant. There was nothing edible last year, at least not by humans. Tomatoes are slow, but finally, all the plants are at least flowering. The only thing edible has been a few pea pods, and they are delicious. I’m trying to let most of them grow into full-sized peas. Bell peppers are still pretty little too.

Waiting for Progress

it is hard for me to wait for progress. Of everything in my garden, I think it is my yellow tomatoes that I obsess about the most. A few years ago, I suffered from Vocal Cord Dysfunction and a serious case of GERD and was forced to cut down on acidic food dramatically.  Yellow tomatoes have far less acid than red ones, so I can eat more of them. They are harder to find in the store, so I grow them. I really want a decent harvest. My biggest plant is my Golden Boy tomatoes. It was the last to flower. It is the only one of five plants I have not found any mini tomatoes on. I stopped staring at it for a few days, and the flowers finally came.

It took spring and summer a while to come to Minnesota, and I am hoping that I get plenty of ripe tomatoes without having to resort too much to tricks, like placing them in paper bags with other fruit. I hadn’t seen the bunnies for a few days either since they wiggled into their hole, and it was good to know they were growing.

Managing the Slow Days

I’m progressing too with my writing, but had my own little setback. I finally got curated on Medium, which means the powers that be started reading and appreciating my stories, but after a mini-windfall of curation, I saw a couple pieces get passed by again. That’s okay, though. I blame no one.

The last couple of pieces had less punch to them, and I took some extra time off from writing. It stunted my growth a bit, but I am ready to build momentum. Eventually, I will have things recognized again, and I’ll grow into who I want to be as a writer.

My garden will catch up too. There is still a lot of summer left. My little yellow flowers will become tomatoes. My pea pods will fill with peas. I might even get a bell pepper or a strawberry by season’s end — if the bunnies don’t eat them first.


story links in italics are “friend links” and can be viewed on Medium with no membership restrictions


Gretchen Lee Bourquin obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing in another life, and worked in disability care, customer service, and education administration — and as a single mom of two, now grown, kids- before delving into freelancing as a content writer. She’s enjoying the opportunity that Medium provides to get a little more personal and put the creativity back in her writing. Follow me on my Facebook Writing PageTwitter, or WordPress

Published by Gretchenleewritermn

I am a freelance writer that writes content and copy on various topics. Currently, my main focus is on women's health, mental health issues in women, hormonal health, ADHD, Aging, Nutrition, Holistic Health, and all the places where these topics intersect. I also dabble in poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction.

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