I’ve seen many sad messages and blog posts this week from fellow gardeners mourning the loss of their crops as their poor plants have been afflicted by blight or caterpillar infestations, white fly or mildew. I sympathise and I wanted to share my favourite Garden-related passage with you all, as I feel it beautifully reflects a persons enduring relationship with their garden.
I first heard this poem on the Netflix series “Orange is the new Black”, an unlikely way to discover something so personally meaningful, but it has stuck in my mind ever since.
The passage was originally taken from Anne Lamott’s book “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” (1980).
I hope you like it.
The Garden: A Metaphor
The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity.
The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things.
The garden is about feeding your children, providing food for the tribe.
It’s part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food.
It’s a competitive display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses.
It’s about winning; about providing society with superior things; and about proving that you have taste, and good values, and you work hard.
And what a wonderful relief, every so often, to know who the enemy is.
Because in the garden, the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time.
And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth, and growth, and beauty, and danger, and triumph.
And then everything dies anyway, right?
But you just keep doing it.