Perplexed and greatly troubled, they asked me “Well, don’t you want to leave anything behind?”
I will leave behind a legacy.
I will leave behind the life that was almost thrown away when someone became so hurt that they no longer wanted to exist.
I will leave behind my memories.
I will leave behind the happiness that I brought my friends and family.
I will leave behind the charity that I built from the ground up.
I will leave behind my multibillion pound empire.
I will leave behind my art.
I will leave behind my writings.
I will leave behind the revolution I provoked.
I will leave behind my inheritance.
I will leave behind all the riches and wealth I accumulated.
I will leave behind a generation of a nation who are better than the last because of the education I gave them
I will leave behind a plethora of people who discovered the love of God because I showed them
I will leave behind my poetry
I will leave behind my memoirs
I will leave behind my company
My art gallery.
My record label.
The country I served.
The soup kitchen at which I volunteered.
The estates that I created.
But no. I will not leave behind children.
While my womb is full and overflowing with flowers, my legacy is larger than that of a mere gardener. I am the garden.
A message from the writer
I challenged myself with this piece, having formerly been of the naive and uneducated opinion that every woman wanted kids, and that those who said they did not would come to terms with it later in adulthood. I wanted to speak on behalf of every woman who has been told that not only should a woman have children, but that she should want to have children. I wrote this for the women who find the value in their womanhood is intrinsic – that is, womanhood is valuable and meaningful with or without reproduction. And while I knew the term ‘mere gardener’ would be a controversial choice of diction, I think motherhood is one of the most difficult jobs in the world and I respect it with my whole heart. Be that as it may, women can be and are more than the gardener.