I'm somewhere between youth and wishful thinking. No, that's not really true. I always think of myself as being way ahead of the game when it comes to age...always aware of the delicate balance of life. I often wonder why some people fear getting older or at the least make denials (if not apologies) of where they are in the time zones of life.
I love gardening. I find it to be the ultimate answer to what happens when we are transfixed from life into death.
In the spring we see things born of the earth. We didn't plant them, we didn't water them, we didn't even take time to clear a spot for their entry. Yet, they make their presence known. And what a glorious sight it is to behold color and delicate blooms rising out from a frozen ground. Show me the first crocus fighting it's way to the air we breath and I'll show you a smiling face at the first sign of spring. This is the birth of new life. The excitement of things to come.
Aah the summer. All those little buds filling out the great limbs of trees...preparing a green welcome mat, as enticement, for the creators of lofty homes made from plucked petals, twigs and other gifts of mother nature. The long days of summer are never long enough. There is never enough time to drench oneself in the warmth of the sun, soak in the warm waters of the ocean, play childish games on lawns or sands, on beaches or sidewalks...or just laze peacefully enjoying the sounds and scents of life. Life is rich and full, or as rich and full as one would allow. There is great joy seeing that which was infant grow into maturity. Oh, the flavors of ripeness when the tomatoes are freshly picked. Have you ever just touched the leaf of a tomato plant, mint leaf, or basil...try it one day, and then inhale the scent. You will know that the finest perfume is free.
There is a feeling of great anticipation when summer begins it's slide into autumn. We look to the trees for that first turning of color. We know that mums will be abundant on porches and railings. Those wonderful tomatoes no longer will ripen with a rich red color. Instead they will beg you to pick them green and savor the flavor of that age old favorite 'fried green tomatoes'. Immediately the thought of pumpkin picking, apple orchards and fresh cider begin to excite that little space in our mind where we look forward to the heartiness of age. We know that with the brisk breath of late autumn the garden shall begin her death into winter. Yet we don't really regret her passing all that much. The colors are rich and vibrant, familiar and welcoming.
It's winter now...all the trees are bare. They died into a new season. Soon there will be blankets of snow. Have you ever thought about the smell of snow? It's not easy to explain or describe, it's one of those things you just have to experience. Kind of like being in love. So hard to explain what makes one person flutter the heart of another. When we look around there is nothing that looks like those days of summer. Where did it all go, how did it die, it was tendered and cared for, enjoyed and cherished. Where did it go, not far really, it's just moved into another season.
The season of rejuvenation is upon us. The crocus is peeking out, parting the last flakes of snow, inviting us to celebrate the joys of rebirth. I shall never woe getting older...I hope I see many seasons. When I do die into what by all appearances is my last winter, my garden promises me that I will have a rebirth.
Life is not a rehearsal for the hereafter...it's a continuation of seasons.