Tuesday, August 26, 2008

That's Life

One more on gardening.
Others have expressed this idea far more eloquently than myself but I love how the garden is a metaphor for life.
Here is one way that my garden imitates life. In the spring and early summer, it's all neat and tidy, lettuce, peas, and kale in orderly rows, tomatoes inside their cages. Life is like that. When we start out things are less complicated even though we image we are already creatures of great complexity. Life starts out orderly and we foolishly think that it will remain that way. Then life throws surprises at us - the unexpected or the unthinkable happens and suddenly, despite our best efforts, everything is a bit of a mess. Around mid July things in the garden become dishelveled. Carefully laid out plans fall apart. Pole beans grow taller than their poles. Sunflowers topple over and need to be staked up. Tomato plants grow suckers and reach out well beyond their cages, falling into the middle of other rows, bush beans turn out to be pole beans and start attaching themselves to everything within reach. Pest invade looking for their piece of the pie.
Then come weeds which are to the garden what television and People Magazine are to life: mindless distractions. Popping up everywhere they seduce us by begging: "pay attention to me." How many hours do we spend weeding when we should have stifled them at the onset by putting down seaweed thereby saving our energy for more important tasks?

song: That's Life • artist: Frank Sinatra

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