Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Life Lessons from the Garden

As I worked in the garden today it came to my atttention that a lot of my boxwood plants (Boxus microphylla japonica) are not getting watered at all. If they were, it would have been very minimal. Most of the time I scrutinize my plants from the kitchen window. (Not a recommended way but because of other distractions I can only do it this way.) From there the plants look alright, they're green and even growing, they seem content thus I'm content. On a closer look, however, the problem was revealed. The soil is dry, which means that my plants are water-stressed. Signs of nutrient-deficiency became visible, snails breeding underneath the canopy and my long lost red-handled pruner was discovered hanging within the hedge! After all these revelation, I was morally obligated to do something!

One could digress and parallel gardening with human relationships. The deeper truth about a person will be revealed only through closer associations. Close associations develop with trust. Like my boxwood, people can and will try to appear composed in the eyes of someone who is not willing to get their hands dirty. Imelda Marcos' slogan at one time was "Makialam" (which means meddle). If indifference is the opposite of love then meddling for the sake of others is a noble thing to do.

I like to advise gardeners to regularly sing to their plants (which often cause eyebrows to rise). Surely, music is not a requirement for plant growth! However, the proximity of the gardener to the plants is what matters. Closeness results in communication, communication in understanding, and understanding in meddling.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Ephesians 4:29

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