*h used to work in customer service, and one time a particularly disgruntled caller from the south called up and ranted at his boss. for some training purpose or other, she was on speaker phone, and for some emphatic purpose or other, she thought it made her case stronger to keep asking rhetorically, “why, why, why?’

only, because she had a thick southern accent, it sounded very much like, “wah, wah wah?”

so for a long time in my house, any situation of fake angst or desperation was met with the cry, “but wah, wah wah?”

sometimes when i think about the whole garden letter, i want to throw my hands up and say, “wah wah wah?”

but for real.

i know that this isn’t the biggest issue facing americans right now.

i know this is not the most compelling tragedy hitting the news.

and for that i’m genuinely grateful.

i do know that people are interested, because i can see how many people are reading the posts, and that is encouraging.

here’s the thing: the opportunity costs of writing or sending a letter are so, so small.

but the real costs of having our freedoms nibbled away are very very real.

if you don’t think that being dragged into court over trying to feed your family can grind you into the dust, talk to karl tricamo.

if you don’t think it’s a big deal whether your city will “let you” grow a few herbs in your yard or not, get in touch with denise morrison.

if you don’t think lives can be changed by the simple act of learning to plant and harvest food, read the interviews with adam guerrero’s students.

i didn’t think anyone would care if i grew some vegetables in my front yard.

but the support of a few hundred thousand people showed me that i was wrong.

do i really think that sending a letter can change the world?

i don’t know.

but i didn’t think that planting a few vegetables would either.

and look where we are now…