Spring winds are brisk today and I’m heeding the warning of Greg Brasso, a Massachusetts grower who propagates more than ninety varieties of scented geraniums including apple, rose, and lime. “Keep these on your indoor porch until the weather warms,” he advised as he tucked in my car an extra plant, his favorite variety, Lady Plantation with lobed leaves dipped in white at their margins. Such abundance can overwhelm me. I cope by picking up bags of potting soil that Greg swears by, a mixture with lots of peat moss. The owner of my apartment allows the use of her front yard for my urban potted garden. As I drive with two twenty-five-pound bags of potting soil in the back of my car, I am aware that in the city we need to be a little more creative about our connections with the seasons.

In Amy Leach’s collection of essays, Things That Are (Milkweed Editions, 2012), she writes that she and her neighbors also met nature in contained pots until a year ago when the building across the street was demolished and replaced by a park. In time, lilac butterflies appeared, then a bird. Flowers too. These new additions to their neighborhood began to interrupt their hurried lives on “road, road, road.” Nature, planted across the street, began to reacquaint them with beauty.

When Leach wrote these essays, she wasn’t in the mood to try to conquer the future—although she acknowledged, “My kind has conquered faraway lands and seas and moons and molecules.” As hard as we tried, she writes, “We have had no luck conquering Tomorrow.” Instead, these essays are an invitation to enchantment as Leach reflects on seemingly ordinary experiences at a level of intimacy that resembles a love song. Biology and botany sit side-by-side with the artistry of imagination: At the sound of an unfriendly noise, fainting goats run, then freeze and “topple like upended chairs.” A jellyfish out of water looks like a bride’s hairdo. Caterpillars eat more than elephants. Panda bears that insist on a diet of bamboo are called celery saints. Bleeding Heart’s delicate flowers are wonderful to find at the border of a garden, but “only love can bleed forever.” As for stars, Leach feels that “…until something disintegrates, there is always a chance it will be taken to heart.”

Last year, in an interview for Brevity, nature writer Terry Tempest Williams said, “It’s no longer about survival of the fittest, but survival of compassion.” When I read Amy Leach’s essays, I am reassured that there is still room to grow my compassionate self. This weekend, when temperatures warm, I’ll divide my plants, share them with a neighbor, and freshen the soil in the scented geranium pots, enough for my city garden.

Jeanette Luise Eberhardy, PhD, MFA is the founder of www.WivInc.com, and produces Storyforth, stories across cultures for meaningful work. She is writing the book: Life on the Page: Interdisciplinary teaching in writing and art. Eberhardy teaches writing at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and around the world.