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Thursday, August 11, 2005

who will tend the garden?

Writing "gardensong" got me thinking...about gardening...literally and figuratively. Mom and Grandma and Great-grandma all love/loved gardening. At least, I got that impression from watching them. That leads me to a whole new set of ponderings.

Do they/did they really enjoy it, or was it just done as a duty or necessity?
"If I don't garden, I'm a bad wife and mother."
"If I don't garden, we won't have enough to eat."

If they didn't enjoy it, did they grow to do so by gardening? Maybe it's like the theory that if you try a new food enough times, you'll learn to enjoy, or at least tolerate it? Is there a grace that comes with accepting genially that which cannot be avoided?

Is "enjoyment" a legitimate justification to do or not do? I imagine their generations would say "no". They are the generations who tamed the wilderness, who survived the Great Depression. For them, "enjoyment" had little to do with the deciding. Enjoyment had more to do with the accomplishment. My heritage has much to do with the fact that so often, they did not think of their own enjoyment first.

Grandma and Mom inherited the garden. It went like this: Della started the garden when the land was cleared. Ida married Della's son and took over the garden when Della couldn't do it anymore. Ruth married Ida's son and took over when Ida couldn't anymore. Ruth has no sons--only daughters (that would be me).

If I want the "garden experience" to be there for my kids and grandkids, maybe I need to become actively involved in the gardening process?

But I'm from the "if it feels good, do it" generation. I don't like to garden. Too many bugs (ew!), too hot, too boring, too much dirt under my nails. How do I make myself do it/enjoy it?

Who will tend the garden?

I don't enjoy getting a tetanus booster shot. I don't particularly enjoy going to the dentist. But in those instances, I would see "lack of enjoyment" as a childish criteria for making the decision. Maybe it's time for this baby boomer to grow up and "just do it"?

Who will tend the garden?

What are the allegorical meanings to the garden? What other "gardens" do I want to leave as a legacy for my children and their children? Faith in God. Industriousness. Life-long learning. Meditation. Purpose. Empathy. Family. Creativity. Prayer. What do I need to do to create that heritage in their lives?

Who will tend the garden?

"The way is long...let us begin."
© 8/11/05

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