Thursday, June 16, 2011


Journal for Christa—
I’ve been sitting in the backyard. It’s really lovely right now with all the irises in bloom. Some colors bloomed this year that we’d forgotten we had. My friend Nicole refers to our yard as “the garden.” And, it does kind of remind me of the children’s novel The Secret Garden.
This garden has evolved over the years. Ages ago, when annuals were cheap and we were younger and there were lots of kid help, Jay would build flowerbeds and we’d fill them up. Over the years we’ve exchanged most of the annuals for perennials and made it as self-sustaining as a garden can be.  Now days, it’s a bird’s summer paradise—eat a little seed, hop over to the waterfall to bathe, splash around in the sprinklers, and build a nice nest in the trees. What more could a bird want?
Although the garden appears beautiful (and it is), there are things that lurk there—such as the two black widows Jay discovered under the bench we’d been sitting on every day last week. There’s a constant battle with ants and sometimes wasps.
Probably the most frustrating things are the grubs that took up residence in and under the plum tree a couple of summers ago. Everything looked normal until we were cutting into the newly harvested plums, only to discover a tiny white worm in each one. Treating the tree and the soil underneath it has been a chore for Jay, and we won’t know if his effort has been successful until the plums ripen this August.
Relationships can be like this garden. Everything can look so beautiful when people walk out their front door, but things may not always be as they seem. Relationships, like a garden, take a great deal of tending. My favorite quote from The Secret Garden was spoken by the old gardener himself as he and the children worked the soil and took in fresh air: “Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.” In his experience he’d learned a lot about caring for gardens—and relationships. (He wasn’t just speaking of roses.)
It’s a wise thing to tend the gardens in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed. I love The Secret Garden. And the Velveteen Rabbit. Now, I'm all nostalgic.