Gardeners are “rose colored glasses” people – they like to see the world as a kinder, gentler place than it actually is. At least that is the way I explain the consternated surprise when someone filches a plant from the garden, a post from the blog, a neighbor plays McCoy to our Hatfield, or to any number of people or natural disaster disappointments.
But gardeners are realistic and pragmatic people, too. They have their visions of paradise, but don’t sit back in pipedreams. They pull on their wellies or garden clogs and go about getting their hands dirty making their part of the world a better place. At least more of the type of place they would like the world to be. And I think that is mostly “better”. It certainly is prettier and more interesting.
Gardeners are people engaged with the world around them- in observation and daily interaction. They get to know their environment, their fellow gardeners, and garden places in an ever widening curiosity, one that never seems to wane or jade. Touching the earth keeps that rare combination of wonder and “groundedness” thriving in the modern worlds soul withering blasts of bad news and tragedy. The garden teaches the garden lessons of hope and life’s marvel, and that makes the gardener circle in the ever renewing seasons of seed and harvest. A sense that life goes on and still holds great beauty in face of death, loss, and decay. There is real optimism in that.
Maybe we have those rose colored glasses because the act of gardening the earth, nurturing it, cultivating and receiving from it, actually makes us better people.
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