By Jerome Shen
Today we welcome guest blogger, Jerry Shen. Jerry has been gardening for many years and as I watch him out there digging and weeding, I realize that he thoroughly enjoys gardening despite the hassles. To all of you gardeners out there, I salute you.
“He don’t plant taters, he don’t plant cotton. And them that plants ’em are soon forgotten. But Ol’ Man River, he keeps rollin’ along.”
“Ol’ Man River” from “Showboat” by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II
I plant a flower garden every year. I am sure that I will be long forgotten, but those who love me – my wife Bridget and my sons Francis and John – will remember that I enjoyed my work and my life in the garden.
More than seeing the finished result of beautiful flowers, I enjoy seeing flowers grow. I don’t have the patience of starting from seeds. So, I buy very young plants before they flower to plant them and see them grow. Young plants are harder to grow because they are more susceptible to adverse growth conditions as overwatering and underwatering and rabbits. Last year, rabbits ate most of the zinnias that I planted. But I like rabbits and I am willing to share a part of the garden with them.
Young plants give you great joy to see them survive and grow. Sometimes, they grow so fast that you will miss the growth unless you observe them regularly. It is such a joy to see a struggling plant to make it or a runt to grow as big as all of its siblings. It is good to see that plants are both fragile and resilient. Plants will wither if they do not have the correct light, water and soil drainage, and temperature. But they are also very resilient if the proper conditions are present. They can grow from a small crack in a rock.
As a gardener in planting, maintaining, and caring for my flowers, I experience birth, growth, and flowering. Because I cared enough to plant a seedling, it has a chance to grow. Because a wife and a husband loved each other, a child is born. With care of watering, fertilizing, and weeding, a plant can grow and mature. With nurturing, a child can learn and grow. And through the love provided to the plant and child, they can both blossom and fulfill God’s purpose for them. Human beings are also fragile and resilient. A slight disapproving remark can hurt someone greatly and destroy their self-confidence. But an act of love can restore life and joy.
Let us tend the people in our garden with the love in our hearts.