Jonathon's Closet

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A gardener ... without

I am a gardener. I tend beautiful flowers. I am able to give them what they need and more. I enjoy giving nourishment and support, and watching my gardens thrive.

In every relationship, there is a gardener and a flower. Although these roles do shift from time to time as dictated by the situation, one’s primary role remains the same. I am the gardener. When there are two gardeners, nothing grows right. Too many cooks in the kitchen, I suppose! And two flowers? Well, with no one to tend them, they simply wither and die.

The relationship between gardener and flower is a little like dancing, you know. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn’t flow with the music. When one person realizes that and allows the other to lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music.

When you plant a seed in the garden you know very well that in order for it to grow into a strong oak tree, an elegant palm that sways in the wind, sweet-smelling rosemary, or a flowering hibiscus, it first needs soil, water, sunlight, care, and constancy. You can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty: gardening involves hard work and deep digging before we can get to the beauty.

Gardening can certainly be hard work. Growth takes time and effort. There are good seasons and bad. Weather can sometimes be a challenge; it can be tough for a garden to weather a storm. But as all gardeners know, the results are beautiful.

Have you ever thought about what happens to the gardener when the flower is gone? With nothing to tend, the gardener grows discontented - the gardener is without half of oneself. It’s a little like being a fish out of water. A gardener needs to focus attention on a beloved garden; willingness, attentiveness, gentle guidance and skill, the cultivating, pruning, and patience needs a home. With no place to focus that attention, the gardener feels lost, empty, and alone.

It’s not neglect that causes my bloom to fail – it’s having no flower to tend.


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