Gardening. I loathed the word. To me it was nothing but hard, hot, back-breaking work. What pleasure could you get from digging in the dirt?
Each summer my siblings and I worked in the garden. We planted seeds, chopped down weeds, and picked the veggies. We sat on the front porch stringing bushels of green beans, cutting corn off cobs, and snapping peas. Sweat ran down our faces. Work never ended on the farm. Even at night I dreamed of stringing green beans.
I vowed when I grew up to never garden again. Let someone else labor and grow the vegetables. I would just buy some fresh veggies at a road-side stand.
Years passed and one spring I got the call. A desire to get my hands in the dirt churned in my heart. It was the deep-rooted longing of my ancestors to; yes, garden!
I bounded outside and drank in the beauty. Jonquils spread churned butter on verdant grass. Robins lifted praise songs, Bradford pear trees offered vanilla ice-cream cones, and minnows jumped in Hyatt-Mill Creek.
I grabbed my hoe and pounded the clay dirt until every bone in my body hurt. Sweat soaked my blouse. I rubbed my aching back and filled my lungs with the fragrance of wild roses. Silence.
Now I knew how my mother and ancestors felt working the good earth. I was revived, at peace with God, myself, and nature. Gardening! Oh, what a pleasure.
--Brenda Kay Ledford
Now that spring is here
Now that the year's advanced to spring
And leaves grow large and long
Forget each sorry and rueful thing
Hearing the wild bird's song.
--Byron Herbert Reece