Through the Fence

                                                                                                                         photoI love the tangled mess in the boulevard garden as the ornamental grasses come into their own and signal the final big wave of blooms of the season.

Yet when I look at that bumblebee, who looks like he’s barely hanging on—well, I know just how he feels.

Change is in the air. My kids are back in school. The days are growing noticeably shorter and mostly cooler. I already miss the lazy pace of summer, the successive waves of blooms from tulips to toad lilies. But I also have big plans to refresh some garden beds and dig in a brand new one. Hundreds of spring bulbs will soon be delivered and they’ll need to be planted right away. That kind of effort requires cooler weather, longer stretches of time in the garden, and the ability to focus on the future, on next year’s garden.

So regret and anticipation stewing together describes my feelings perfectly these days. My gaze has become equally divided between past and future.

And for me, gardening tips the balance toward the future. In childhood you’re always looking ahead. But I’ve found that at midlife there’s a tendency to gaze too long in the rearview mirror because so much of your life has already been lived. Your life starts to have more endings than beginnings.

Gardening forces me to stay focused on what’s right in front of me and to stay deeply connected to all the good things yet to come.

I need that. Fiercely.

So what about you? What keeps you facing forward? Where do you find connection? Or if that’s too personal, tell me about your favorite part of the fall season. I’d like to know.

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2 Responses to Through the Fence

  1. Look at it this way, we’ve all got these amazing years ahead of us to live with purpose. My grandmother was involved in a ministry until she got sick. So she’s an inspiration to me. Look at Diana Nyad, the lady who just swam from Cuba to FL. We’ve still got lots of work to do, everyone!

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