Ah, the end of August, time to get things in shape for the Fall Garden. There’s lots of work to do, clearing spent plants, tilling old soil, repairing garden paths and making way for the hardy plants to show off their autumn colors. Today was a perfect day to get started. I like to begin in one section and work my way around clockwise, taking care of one little piece of ground at a time. I’m interrupted by someone pulling into my driveway. It’s a good friend stopping by. He just had another job interview, unfortunately, the job wasn’t one suited for his talents, or so he was told. He paced the perimeter of the garden as we spoke, spilling his guts as I slowly worked my way around. I was almost in tears by the time he left. My friend is an older man of 50-something, overweight for his short frame and has been out of work for quite some time. He even went back to school to better himself, that was over a year ago.
I continued on my circular path through my garden, my friends anguish seemed to move right along with me. I looked up at the sunflowers, even they looked sad! The flower heads were bowing quite low as they carried the weight and strain of the seeds they bore. A tiny bird rested on one of the huge seed heads, hanging upside down as he inspected the seeds, finding them not quite ready for eating, he flew off. I muttered some words of encouragement to the heavily strained flower, “don’t worry there big guy, the Calvary will soon be by to help unload your heavy burden”…hmm. I find myself shuffling past the cosmos, pulling some seeds and sticking them in my pocket. I reached one dried bunch of seeds and let out a yelp. Unbeknownst to me, a bumblebee was resting in the seeds. I'm sure that the bumbles don't die after they sting you, so I looked around to make sure he was ok. I found the angry bumble stumbling around the dirt below the cosmos. “Don’t worry my plump friend” I said, “you’ll be up flying and back to work in no time”…hmmm. After the ouch was gone I continued my garden journey, tending to the plants and flowers with drone-like movements. A few moments have passed before coming to realize that I was smiling from ear to ear. For what reason do I owe this change of feeling? A moment ago I am sad, now I find myself quite happy! Why it’s because I’m sitting right smack in the middle of the Lavender grove! Of course, everyone knows that the scent of lavender, when swirling around the senses, will pick one up from the dumps of despair. My hands are running through the stems and flowers, the aroma is too much for my sadness to handle, my spirits have lifted because of something as simple as a small purple flower. Hmm, I’m starting to think that perhaps my garden is speaking to me. Now I’m on a mission, what other plants have a message for me, what other plants will help rid the sorrow of my friend’s plight? How about the kitchen herbs? Basil and Oregano are happy herbs. How about the rosemary, wow doesn’t that smell good! I quickly move past the Red Valerian lol! (we’ll use his special powers another time!) On to the peppermint with its beautiful black stems, rich green leaf and purple flowers. Almost at the end of the garden, I turn around to see Grumpy Old Sage. If he had anything to say it would be, “Get off your ass, pick a basket of vegetables and herbs and give it to your friend before I hit you over the head with one of my gnarly branches!” Yup, that’s exactly what he would say and who am I to disagree. By the time I was done working my chores, I had picked a basket of goods, including a cutting or two of the herbs and flowers that vanquished my melancholy. Later that day I delivered the gift to my friend and his wife. Attached to the basket was a note. “My garden told me to tell you that things will be OK!!”