My garden is cold and white right now. Standing outside this morning I feel the crisp air and hear the quiet drop of snow as it lands on top of the snow-covered garden beds.
When you see the world outside your garden it is easy to see the larger forces as sadly negative. World News is depressing. The attitude these days is shocking and clear; it is no longer possible to live in a world where we leave our doors unlocked at night or our kids outside to play without fear. It seems everyone is out for themselves and no longer willing to do or say something kind.
Dear Readers, I have had a shocking and awe-inspiring revelation over the last several years, and it has been my small corner of the world which has inspired a change in my viewpoint. There is surely hope for we humans – and I am the one who discovered it right in my own back yard.
Having strained my already small yard to the point of bursting with perennial beds, I extended the garden out back beyond my property line. The garden stretches the length of my back fence on a busy road. It all started one day in the fall while I was digging and planting: a woman in a silver car SCREECHED to a halt, rolled down her window and shouted, “HEY!” As traffic backed up behind her, she shouted, “I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU I LOVE YOUR GARDEN!” She smiled, waved and drove off. Mind you, this garden is in its infancy and does not look very finished yet. An hour later a biker drove by on the side walk and said, “your garden is beautiful!” A day later two little girls rode by on their bikes and when they were almost out of earshot, one girl said to the other, “I like what she’s doing back there.”
Every time I work out back it is the same thing – everyone waves and smiles and stops traffic. They shout encouragement, which is deeply appreciated. In fact, it moves me to tears. These people in my community are loving and kind. It is encouraging and makes me feel wonderful. I now realize the human race has not yet fallen into negativity. All my life I had hoped to do something inspiring that people would genuinely care about. Here in my own back yard I discovered there is still hope to be a part of a community that cares about each other. Perhaps society is not all that bad and there is hope.
And so here I sit watching the snow blanket my garden in December, during a season of giving and kindness, and I realize that this garden has shown me much more than perennials and soil; it has shown me humanity.
Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!