A garden that never died eventually
would weary. Robbed
of springtime, unacquainted with the extraordinary perfume
that rises from the soil after itís had its rest, the
garden that winter doesnít visit is a dull place. The return every spring of earthís first freshness would
never be kept if not for the frosts and rot and ripe
deaths of fall. So
when I go out from the garden for the last time in autumn,
I leave the gate open behind me.
kind of hard sometimes to think of death as such a
necessary part of growth and life. We grow up to see
death as something very negative, as a loss, so we tend
not to see the positive aspects of the cycles of passing
on and leaving space for the next generation.
Gardeners understand very well the importance of death in
the overall processes that they deal with all the
time. They see the importance of letting soil rest
throughout the winter, letting it replenish the nutrients
that keep it vibrant and able to sustain life.
a large field near our house where they plant corn, but
only every other year. On the off years they allow
the field to grow naturally, and whatever wants to grow
there, does. At the end of the summer, they plow all
this growth under, and the next year they plant corn once
more. Because they've added all the new nutrients to
the soil in the form of the other plants, the corn does
very well. Some people would say that they lose a
harvest every other year, but others would recognize that
the field is much healthier because it's not being drained
of its vitality by being planted each year.
we need to be doing something important all the
time? Do we always need to be accomplishing
something? I think not. I think we're like the
fields and the gardens--we need our rest if we're to
continue to work at our best. Just like flowers, we
can share our beauty more strongly if we've rested
ourselves for a while, and then other people benefit from
our taking care of ourselves. But we can't depend on
others to see our need for rest, so we need to be sure
that we're monitoring ourselves carefully so that we can
replenish our reserves when they need it.