I knew I needed to weed the garden and mow the lawn (as well as the twenty-seven other things on my to-do list) but I baked a cake instead. Then, when I ran out to do an errand, I saw that the clematis had bloomed – when I wasn’t looking, it had gone ahead and does what it does every year – without any weeding, or any care at all from me. It had become beautiful all by itself.
Perhaps I was having a moment, but it made me cry, and I caught my breath as I stopped and took a good look around the garden. I went back inside and grabbed my phone so that I could take photographs, afraid that it would all be mysteriously gone by the time I got back from the shops.
So busy in my head over the last few weeks, I had neglected some of the things that were important to me – beautiful, silly things that fed my soul, that I needed to take care of because in doing so they actually took care of me.
When I grabbed my phone, I also took the gardening scissors and some floral string. I spent the next half hour pruning and tying up the roses – they haven’t flowered yet, but I know they will appreciate not being thrown around by the next storm. There is a branch over twelve foot tall that is reaching towards the top of the house, but as it is covered in rosebuds I don’t have the heart to cut it down. Perhaps after they bloom.
They all grew without me. With no help, no words of encouragement, no passing glance, no special soil or fertilizer to brighten their color. They just grew. They grew into their beauty. Soon they will lose their color, they will rest, and then begin to do it all over again. And as I stepped back onto the wet grass, tears dripping down my face, it struck me that we need them far more than they need us.
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