In honour of my blog turning two 3 days ago, here is a taste of a storm to come. It’s almost here. I can feel it. Can you?
Roots. That’s where it begins. If they aren’t strong, if they’re disease-ridden and decaying, the whole plant dies. The good gardener knows this.
He was well-known for his gardening skills – if that is what one would refer to them as – across town. The respect he would get form them was a peculiar combination of admiration and condemnation. Although his garden was the talk of town and was constantly considered one of the finest in the city and beyond, he would uproot everything and start tending to his garden afresh every few years. It was not out of desire that he would do this although it was a factor. It was habit. Every since the days of his youth he would reinvent his garden. There would be new ornaments or plants, most often than not there would be something that he would remove or leave very little of. The only aspect of his garden that remained the same was that of the shape. Plants were moved around here and there, some taking more space than others, at other reinventions taking very little space but the basic foundation remained the same.
He would devote a whole year to this task, usually at the cost of a lot of other things. But he enjoyed gardening. This was one thing he would never give up. He couldn’t. It was wired into his system. Even as an old man he would do this. If there was something written in his future, it was this. Anything else could occur. This was the only constant.
During one reinvention, he planted roses to the whole of one side of his garden. The following reinvention saw the roses to take up a smaller but significant portion of his garden. During another time, he planted a lot of lilies. A few years later he removed the lilies completely and they only emerged again a decade later.
The first two plants he ever placed in the soil were an oak tree that commanded the back of his garden, providing a decent amount of shade and a peaceful rest place in the winter months. The other was a full bed of wildflowers. That bed had the richest soil of his garden and that is saying something considering that his plot had the richest soil for miles around. That bed had always been home to wildflowers. That never changed. Every once in a while a nephew, niece or friend’s child would come and play in the garden. He would always give them one wildflower.
This time as he set down to tend to his garden he felt the soil’s texture. He smiled. A tear dropped from his left eye and hit the soil. He kissed the soil, whispering a thank you that was carried through the boughs of the Oak tree and to a far off place by the winds.
He was a son of the sea but born of wildflowers. He was The Gardener; a sailor of a gardener.