Learning from the Garden: A Lifetime Reflection

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It may be the sudden increase of darkness or the fact that I have just celebrated a full year of writing. I have suddenly had the urge to become somewhat more philosophical. Below you will find some light musings built over the last year (and admittedly a bit longer than that) as I have written stories and thoughts for these monthly articles. I encourage you to join me and reflect on the past years as it has been a journey for all of us and remember in this season of celebration to acknowledge your roots. 

In the spring, the sun rises at 5:30 am. In a world familiar to a handful, it is an expectation to be up with the sun. The phrase “burning daylight” is taken quite literally in the business of gardening. 

The world revolves around the sun, the sunlight allows plants to grow under the gentle nurturing touch of an expert gardener. “Expert” is a term used loosely, as one who enjoys the peace and serenity of the green surrounding them. If a single bud droops, whether it be the lack of watering or simply the circle of life, one can suddenly claim the title of a “bad gardener.”

This title, in reality, does not exist. 

It is true, you can only garden successfully if you take the time to learn how a blossom breathes, but it is also true that anyone can garden. Just like children, these living organisms need careful tending. In my experience, a trustworthy gardener will be up shortly after the automatic sprinklers turn on. A cup of coffee later, the gardener will diligently wander out to keep up maintenance, watering plants that were missed by the arching spray of the system, and weeding among the garden that reveals a green thumb’s pride. 

My father, my mother, and now myself form a growing line of gardeners pushing the limits in the green world of retail plant selling. At the tender age of three, gardening was a language I spoke just as fluently as English. A strange fertilizer of business and passionate plant selling nurtured my mind as I watched my family grow from a handful of shabby greenhouses to the home of the World’s Largest Hanging basket.

Any success and failures our gardens experienced, my family experienced.

Walking into a greenhouse to water baskets, I would watch anxiously to see how much they would grow in the hours that my mother and I spent hand watering every single basket. Gardening is a quiet land of the working world, but it is the wet soil and the tough sprouts shoving their way to the sunlight that teach the most useful lessons. 

The numerous lessons could all be fit into a series of reflections with a crafty name like “The Simplicity of Breathing – a Green Thumb’s take on being a wallflower,” but it is how gardening has shaped my character. 

Gardening can be broken down into desirable traits like patience and hard work. The business of gardening introduces individuality, a competitive nature, and the joy of living passionately. Not many people can take such a cut-throat capitalist view and combine it with the serenity individuals can find in the garden. 

When people look at the world, it is easy to focus on the computer I am typing on, the phone in my pocket, and the overpriced cup of coffee by my side. Many could find this focus a positive attribute when it comes to looking at the world; however, the passion I find in my home is incomparable to the advancements made by the world today. 

If you find a bloom you love, don’t pick it, but rather watch it grow, the worldview enjoyment of watching the natural life of the bloom will last much longer than the disappointment of a wilted stem. My mind has been rooted in the enjoyment of life as we see it now, taking hold of the lessons learned from the garden: the excitement for seasons, the anticipation for rain, and the celebration of a new flower. 

As far as a worldview goes, well, let’s just say that my view is still blooming with time, and I hope you continue to join me in your growing experiences.