Tending the Garden

The loamy smell of the earth, as it is worked and turned. This is what I love about gardens.

My father plants a garden each place we live. He has stories about one of the first he built, in Reidsville, where he plotted out everything in foot by foot parcels. He made the local newspaper.

I remember stories of planted gardens, and then a children’s story of a garden that was so wild that it won the prize for the best garden, precisely because it was not formulaic, and parceled out.

As the seasons change, we see what grows and what is preparing to lie dormant for the winter. And the possibilities that lie within what may yet grow out of the earth.

There is a participation in creation involved in the tending of a garden. It is a participation that is both a great responsibility and a freeing concept. Freeing because, ultimately, you can only weed and prune so much, at some point it is necessary to allow the plants to grow, and you cannot force them to grow any faster.

So, what is growing? What is building? And what is my part in this garden? What do I need to tend? Or prune? Or allow to take its own path? What planning is involved? For what do I need to cease to plan? How much to I need to release, and let just crawl along in it’s own way?

The fine balance between control and release is tenuous, and to go in either way could ultimately end up in a patch of unfruitful dirt. Instead, with planning, and release it is possible that the brilliance of the Master Gardener can shine forth, and encourage the things growing to blossom into that which I as a lowly tender could never before have imagined.

Let me grow.


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