Building is harder than tearing down

Published 9:05pm Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Faya Rose Garden Saga continues. As you may recall from Sketches No. 1306, Faya Rose decided to plant an organic garden for the grandchildren. She wanted them to experience first-hand the power of planting, cultivating and harvesting. She stated that she knew I was too busy to help because of extensive Senate and other duties. However, I found myself performing more and more duties until it seemed like my garden. I want to share with you the final chapter of the Faya Rose Garden Saga.

“Hank, I am going to get some more garden plants,” said Faya. I went quiet in anticipation of more garden duties. However, she actually purchased more tomatoes, watermelons and other plants. I thought that the duty of planting would shift to me but she went to the garden by herself and set out the plants. I was proud of her. I was also relieved. It was her garden after all.

“Hank. I want some more corn planted.” I waited for her to say she was going to plant the corn but she did not. I did not volunteer. The issue lurked in the quiet between us. The additional corn was not planted.

On several occasions, I observed a wild turkey in the garden eating away as I walked my two mile early morning trek. In past years, the flock contained as many as 28 turkeys. Now, it was just one lone bird. With all the grass around, I wondered why the garden was so appealing to the turkey. I wondered if it was staking its claim to the garden.

As I drove toward home at night, I often observed deer running out of the garden area toward Blue Creek Swamp. I had seen deer many times on the way to our home but not in the garden area. They were always closer to the house, near the small pond. Now I wondered if the deer were staking their claim to the garden.

As I drove by the garden in the daytime, I observed weeds, grass and vines growing abundantly. I mentioned this to Faya Rose but she did not respond. I did not suggest a course of action. After all, it was not my garden and I was way too busy with Senate and other duties. Faya Rose just did not seem concerned about the grass, weeds and vines. I later discovered why.

The grass, weeds and vines kept growing with each passing day. I eventually concluded that things were at a critical point. “Faya Rose,” I said, “Instead of walking this morning, let’s go to the garden and work.” I was claiming the garden with her.

When we reached the garden, I could not see the plants for the grass, weeds and vines. Faya said that she thought all the greenery visible from the road was the garden stuff we planted. (The vines were a colorful green). I understood why she had not responded to my concern about the weeds, grass and vines. She later shared her misunderstanding with the world on Faya’s Fire, her morning radio program that is also on the World Wide Web.

I located some of the plants in the weeds, grass and vines. The collards and cabbages were easiest to find because of their distinct color and shapes. She chopped around these as I located other plants. I noticed that she only chopped a small space around each plant. I did not have the heart to tell her that she should clear a bigger area.

As I searched the weeds, grass and vines, I soon realized that the okra and certain other plants had been eaten, leaving only stems. I couldn’t tell whether it was the turkey or the deer. I knew that both had staked claims on the garden. I found a small tomato on each of several plants. Before I could say anything, Faya Rose exclaimed, “I found a pepper. This is really encouraging.” Then she found a second pepper pod. She was further encouraged about the fruit I found on the tomato plants.

I began digging weeds, grass and vines from around the plants. I didn’t get too far before the metal part of the hoe came off the handle. I put the metal end back on the handle but it came off again and again. Soon, the metal end of Faya Rose’s hoe-like tool also separated from the handle. I had just purchased these tools a few weeks earlier from ….. (unnamed to protect the guilty).

We had made little progress but we agreed to go back home. She picked the pepper pods and we were on our way. I mentioned getting some stronger tools. Faya did not say anything. I mentioned a tiller but drew no response. We drove on.

I came to realize in this moment that we both knew in our hearts that this was no longer Faya Rose’s Garden. It was not my garden or the turkey’s garden or the deer’s garden. The garden now belonged to the weeds, grass and vines produced by nature without cost, work or effort.

Epilogue — We have to work so hard to grow desirable plants. However, nature effortless grows certain other plants destructive to those we struggle to grow. It seems like God made the world so that building up is so hard but tearing down is so easy. We have to grow and build anyway.


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