Wednesday, December 28, 2016
The Constant Gardeners
I inherited a plant from Mom's funeral and it was the closest thing to a living being in my apartment....until it died. Others have the gift of bringing seed and buds to life and help them bloom; I lack that gift. Here are two women blessed with that talent, from May 14, 2006.
Their names are Maria and Janet. Like the majority of the people in my apartment complex, they are elderly. My guess is that Maria is about eighty and Janet is roughly seventy but we know about asking age related questions to ladies. I take unlimited mobility for granted. I get up when I choose, leave when I want, and come home when I feel like it. The loss of independence is seen in my neighbors. Even opening a door in the communal hallways becomes an ordeal from the confines of a wheelchair. Maria and Janet are fortunate in that they can get around, although Janet relies on her walker. What I admire about these two ladies is how they spend their hours. Both are gardeners. Maria, whose apartment abuts our communal mailbox area, has planted a variety of flowers all around the de facto post office, which doubles as a hangout for the retired set. Janet has a rose garden along the driveway where I enter and exit. Both may get a little bit of help from the apartment office and groundskeepers but it is negligible. The work of neither lady is subsidized by Braesridge Apartments. That would almost demean what they do. They tend their gardens because they love gardening. I'll be honest: I have no use personally with growing things in the soil. It dates back to being roused from bed very early as a boy and being required to weed our family garden. But I have great respect for those who love tilling the soil, even if the field is a tiny patch of dirt. Maria and Janet, through their passion, make life better for their neighbors. We smile when we see the blooms glistening after a shower. We smile as we catch the sweet, floral scent from the petals. Even those who live in our complex who don't know Maria and Janet are blessed by them. I doubt their purpose has ever been to improve the quality of our lives...but that is what they have done inadvertently. We owe them and we need to emulate them. Does my life make the existence of people who don't know me a better one? Paul, in depicting the life of disciples, described our walks as the fragrance of the knowledge of him and the aroma of Christ. Any situation should be improved simply by our being involved in it. My life is better because of Maria and Janet. I hope someone's life is better because of me.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Flowers are the sweetest thing God ever made and forgot to put a soul into."
Henry Ward Beecher
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 7:51 PM