Monday, July 5, 2010

Constant Gardening

Remember that fish (Nory?) from "Finding Nemo"? The one that couldn't remember anything?

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." This is my theme music this week.

When I was out in the neighborhood for a run this weekend, in between dashes to the shady part of the street and wiping of sweat out of my eyes, I found myself noting something important.

Some of my neighbors keep incredible gardens.

Some are in front of the house, right next to the sidewalk, so all passers-by can enjoy the color. Some of them are side yards, or a carefully tended patch of flowers by the front porch or walk. Name it, and I saw it. And these gardeners, mind you, range from original owner (from the 1950s) to the young couple who moved in last week, still trying to conceive their first child and kiss Previous Listless Life goodbye.

There is one particular flower garden of spectacular hue, with a half dozen rose bushes bursting with light, color, delicate petal tips, and thorns, just next to the sidewalk on a fairly well-traveled road, for all to enjoy. I've marveled at it many times on family walks. My husband and I have commented how amazing the roses are. My toddler has pushed thorny branches out of the way of the stroller's path. Never knowing the danger of a tiny pinpoint prick on his little finger.

To my surprise, along my run this weekend, I saw the toil. The tired shoulders. The sagging sunhat. The work. I ran past the set of multi-colored rosebushes as the owner of the house was out among the bushes, tending weeds. Plucking unwanted visitors. Examining leaf health. Trimming back unwieldy branches. Tending, tending, and tending. I smiled at him, knowingly. He nodded in agreement. I ran on.

As I ran, I realized the significance of what I'd viewed, what I'd seen on this blinding hot day.

Tending a garden is much like raising children. Time. Attention. An amazing end result, blinding in its beauty.




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