Tending the Garden

Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by Joanie Kriens

Joanie tending her garden

Joanie tending her garden

I’m having so many special moments in the garden these days (almost too many to count). I wanted to share a story of something that happened one morning a few weeks ago that still resonates with me; a story of joy and sorrow of the most profound kind. This to me in some ways demonstrates what a garden is, how it goes beyond beauty, function or food, and the importance and inspiration that springs from what we sow in our relationships.

Recently, I was watering my starter plants in the greenhouse with our sweet cat Sandra, who was rubbing and purring away. Her joyful song echoed in the small warm space and we were both humming along. In the distance I saw my friend Chris coming towards the garden shed. Chris helps me care for our property and knows the land as if it was his own. Chris was carrying a beautiful hand picked bouquet of flowers from the yard, a lovely spring mix of roses and other blooms. As he presented me with this lovely bouquet, I was touched by his random act of kindness.

I thanked him, and as we were catching up on life I asked about his ailing mother. He had just moved her closer to his home so he and his wife Janie could better care for her. He shared with me that his mother had passed away that morning, after he had spent a long evening by her side the night before. It was an unexpected loss. They knew her time was coming, but didn’t expect it so soon. He spoke of the warmth and tenderness a mother brings and of the sadness of loss. It was a difficult day for Chis, and yet, he had thought to gather a bouquet for me.

What resonates with me is Chris’ act of kindness and desire to give to another while being engulfed in grief.

Chris writes, “That particular morning was a little surreal for me. I found myself simply tempted to do what I did. I think it comes down to coping with a loss. The loss of a mother’s care, touch and love needed some attending to. It’s interesting to see what different reactions people go through in such a time. My choice was just spontaneous. Bring joy to someone, to overcome the loss in one’s heart. You were appreciative of the gesture. That was exactly the mending I needed to help me through the day. I have to thank you for simply being there at the right time.”

There is joy and sadness in everyday life. Sharing our joy and sorrow with those around us shows how common our experiences are, and how we are deeply connected through feelings and emotions.

We all carry and feel sadness and joy. Being able to express these feelings to another as they’re happening is a gift. It feels like living in the moment to me. I am truly grateful for all the lessons life brings, so many of which happen in and around the garden…

With Gratitude,


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