Over time, that wish for roots began to mean more. Indeed, it meant a life fully grounded in the present, occupied with planting tangible things that could grow, blossom, and one day be harvested. These "tangibles" became: true love and marriage, two children, a house, and finally our garden, the literal and obvious translation for my metaphor.
I suppose I'm feeling rather wise today. Yesterday I was bent with my shoulders and back burning in the sun, weeding our primary tomato patch. I was annoyed at first. I mean, hadn't I just plucked this weed from the earth a few days ago? How dare it come back! The nerve of this weed, which is really just a plant, with the misfortune of trying to grow in a place I don't want it.
It struck me, this battle of the weeds. Millions of dollars have been spent and earned all in the name of weed control - why? I pondered and pulled, and as I did so, I fell into a rhythm. Weeding became a form of meditation, almost, as if I had just reached some higher plane of gardening enlightenment. I thought about weeding, and how it's a painful, monotonous, and time-consuming thing that really must be done for the good of the seed you have planted. And it hit me: It's nurturing at its core.
Modern man doesn't see it this way. Life is about instant gratification, about faster, and more, and winning. Unfortunately, I don't think life declares winners in the end.
What this attitude does is displace us from the nurturing. It fails to understand that growing things is what life is all about. First we grow ourselves, then we grow a purpose, then we grow a relationship, then we grow a life together with goals and dreams. In that relationship, children are grown, bills are grown, and even flowers are grown.
Yes there is divorce, yes there are fights, bankruptcy's, and foreclosures, but those all happen when the weeds are left to grow, or if the time it takes to pull the weeds is seen as too valuable. Perhaps this problem gets solved by spraying weed eater, but as most good gardeners know, this will eventually deplete the quality of your soil and make it even more difficult to grow things in the years to come. In other words: it's a short-term solution for impatient people without thought to what it does to the long-term.
Growing things, nurturing them, requires nothing if not long-term perspective.
I have weeded my tomato patch every few days lately. No. I will never win the battle of the weeds. Life is like that, though, too: you till up the ground, sow a seed, and unexpected things pop up while the soil is ripe and the conditions are right. You may not want these things, they may even be dangerous to what you're growing, but it's pretty simple, really - you just take a few minutes each day to tend your patch.
When you stop to think about it. It's pretty cool what comes over you while weeding. :) In the end, after you've grown everything and left little bits and pieces of your care behind, just remember that you aren't really judged on the size of your harvest, but on the time you spent tending it.
|small but loved garlic :)|