Reading garden blogs over the last couple of weeks I’ve seen many a moving post or reference to the suffering of the people of Japan. At times I’ve felt rather shallow talking about new plants I’ve acquired, celebrating the springtime return of a favorite plant, or wondering if the shrubs growing in front of my house were worth keeping when these nature-focused people have lost their gardens, their homes, and their loved ones.
Working in the garden last week (through sun and showers) I found myself thinking about what an overwhelming and crippling sense of loss they must be feeling.Then my mind wandered to the other parts of the world where the simple normalcy of life is temporarily interrupted and then on to those people who have never been so lucky as to have simple normalcy…where every single day is a struggle. I am so very fortunate.
A few years after my grandfather died I had the opportunity to plant a vegetable garden in the soil he had worked for so many years. Planting that garden…and the weeding, watering, and harvesting that followed I felt closer to him than I had since we lost him. Closer than I ever had visiting the cemetery where he is buried. In a small way I re-live that feeling every year when I soak and then plant my snap peas early in the spring.
For me working in the garden can be so much more than just pulling a few weeds or making things look pretty. Having a bit of soil to grow something in (whether it’s a bucket, an allotment, a good sized garden, or an acre) is an important connection to nature, your ancestors, and the larger natural world. This is my rambling way of saying my heart aches for the people who have lost their grounding place and whose world is in chaos.