In our house my husband is the head gardener, and these days, because our gardening yard space is small, I am not even the undergardener. I had that title when we lived at Sweetwater Farm, and I was the primary weeder. I even enjoyed that ongoing task, for I could see immediate results, and it resembled cleaning, which most of the time I enjoy.
Now, my main role is to enjoy the fruits of my husband's labor and talents. Most days now you can find him "playing" in the garden.
Did you ever meet a gardener, who, however, fair
his ground was absolutely content and pleased?...
Is there not always a tree to be felled or a bed to be
turfed?...Is there not ever some grand mistake to be
remedied next summer?
The Rev. Samuel Hole (1819-1904)
This quotation from Charles Dickens' Sketches by Boz also describes my husband the gardener.
In fine weather the old gentleman is almost constantly in the garden; and when it is too wet to go into it, he will look out of the window at it by the hour together. He has always something to do there, and you will see him digging, and sweeping, and cutting, and planting, with manifest
delight...; and in the evening when the sun has gone down, the perseverance with which he lugs a
great watering-pot about is perfectly astonishing.
The beauty is inspiring and pleasing, but gardens also represent hope at a time when that feels in short supply and we need reminders to lift our hearts.
Of all human activities, apart from the procreation
of children, gardening is the most optimistic and
hopeful. The gardener is by definition one who
plans for and believes and trusts in a future, whether
in the short or the longer term. To sow seeds and
plant out, to graft and propagate, whether it be
peas and beans, apples and plums, roses and peonies,
is to make one's own positive stake in that future, a
gesture, declaring that there will be weeks, months,
years ahead. ...
Those who constantly think of war and dread its
prospect, who see an end to mankind and his
planet, whose spirits are shriveled and hearts bowed
down by the troubles and threats of the age, who
refuse to have any hope, take any comfort, see the
glimmer of any new dawn, should be gardeners. The
gardener learns to be by turns daring and adventurous,
tender and ruthless, meticulous and haphazard, gentle
and patient. But above all, he learns to revel in today,
while being ever hopeful of tomorrow.
from Through the Garden Gate
If you are a gardener, I thank you. If you aren't a gardener, why not thank someone who is and take a cue from the gardens around you and live with a hope filled heart.
What gives you hope? I would love to know.