If you grow a yard like this, I think you will fall in love. Spending hours and hours watching the land, interacting with it, and seeing what happens as a result connects you very closely with it. You may never want to leave it, and you might find yourself thinking about it all the time. (See full post below for progress photos)
It will bring you joy so quiet but so deep as you watch the growth of the plants and the humming of the insects. You will begin questioning the merit of any thing that purports to take you away from this place.
Things that might look boring or ugly to other people look fascinating to you. Everything starts to shift in meaning. Your perception of what is alive and what is not begins to change. Your perception of what is worth protecting expands.
Money no longer seems like the most important thing. You wonder why you fight so hard trying to get more of it.
I think the important part about loving your yard is letting go of any frustration you may have that things “aren’t going your way”, and revel in what does happen. I can’t count the number of seeds and seedlings I planted this year that died. But plenty lived, and innumerable things that I had nothing to do with appeared or flourished, and that was mostly where I got my joy.
I don't think land ownership is necessary for this love. We have such an odd relationship with private property and possessions, but I don't think you need to "own" the land to love it. None of nature is really ours anyway so you can fall in love like this with the riverbank or woods near your apartment, a pot of flowers on your deck. I think the key is spending time with it, watching it, and caring for it when it is needed.
I think it’s a change we all need, but I honestly have to admit I was not ready for the magnitude of love I would have for this yard and how quickly this love would come upon me.
I would like to add that it is important to bear in mind that the land we love is stolen. It was forcibly taken from the native peoples, often at the price of their lives. I think that healing the land and acknowledging this crime is a step towards atonement, but I don't know what true reparations look like for a large-scale crime such as this. I'm sure solutions have been raised, but I have not yet sought them out. I should do so, as it is a part of bowing in the face of our history and forging the best path forward.