I normally drive by myself to gymnastics so that I can go home afterwards and start my yard work while the girls do the things that girls like to do when they don’t like to garden. This past Saturday, as I drove back to our house, I was struck by how swiftly the signs of spring had come to Sacramento. Many of our trees are in flower, daffodils are nearly finished blooming, and the sun is warm. I had noticed these changes a little and even snapped a few photos of trees in bloom last month. But then, just like with my daughter, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks . . . this time my car's tracks. I actually said, “Wow” out loud when I saw this:
This is on the corner of a very busy street in town and the entire front yard is walled in by the white-washed stucco wall. I have driven by this house a thousand times and I have never noticed it before. I felt lucky to have noticed it that day and I thought it would be worth remembering so I pulled over and took a few pictures with my phone.
Although the picture above was worth posting on its own merit, I was inspired to put fingers to keyboard this morning because a third thing happened to me that stopped me in my tracks. Clearly, I am in a time and place in my life where I am feeling compelled to stop and take note of what is going on. This third event happened to be an e-mail I received. I have infrequently written about the Library of Congress' weekly e-mail column called American Life in Poetry. This week's poem has a gardening theme so I think it is appropriate to be shared here and I hope that it finds you in a place where you can stop and consider why we garden and what that says about your life as it did for me this morning:
My father had our yard cemented over.
He couldn’t tell a flower from a weed.
The neighbors let their backyards run to clover
and some grew dappled gardens from a seed,
but he preferred cement to rampant green.
Lushness reeked of anarchy’s profusion.
Better to tamp the wildness down, unseen,
than tolerate its careless brash intrusion.
The grass interred, he felt well satisfied:
his first house, and he took an owner’s pride,
surveying the uniform, cemented yard.
Just so, he labored to cement his heart.
-Lynne Sharon Schwartz