Gardening is Kindness

Woman Gardening, by Michael A. Muller
Photo taken by Michael A. Muller

I married ten years ago this summer. Days after the honeymoon, my wife began gardening outside our rented home. I humored her, even helped her, because I was in love, and the flowers made her smile.

Then one evening I returned from a nerve-tightening day of selling televisions. (Oh, the things we do for money!) Too weary for the climb to our second-story apartment, I sat on the porch steps and looked at the daylilies, growing like 3-foot geysers on either side. The blooms stood quietly above their wilted predecessors, wearing only sunlight, but robed like kings. I was frazzled and depressed. They were whole, and at rest.

My insides slowed their erratic spinning, so I kept looking. Then — I’m not sure why — I reached out and broke off a dead bloom. And then another. Soon I was standing, tidying the patch of lilies and watching them stand prouder with each touch. I finished at peace, restored from workday hassle to quiet and thankfulness.

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