A neighbor and a best friend
groaned along with me this spring
as we trudged out to clean the
mess winter left. We wonder
why we do it. Why do we
keep gardening? It's hard work -
privatized - a secret kept from going
public by fences.
There doesn't seem to be much joy
in it at the beginning
of the season.
I read the story of Stanley Kunitz's
lifelong passion for gardening.
The pictures of him stooped
and barely hobbling
along well worn paths planned ages ago
with his hands as gnarled as the tree he
planted for a focal point
Why did he do it? And keep
doing it until
Is this what made
his poetry sing?
I think we do it because brilliant people
keep repeating this refrain:
Beauty saves the world. And
we have children in our lives
who beg to use the watering can,
pick berries, and clasp their grubby
little hands around mangled stems
of just picked bouquets. They offer it
to us, their un-wilted view
of our world through
This is why we do it. Else how
will they crave
of their own?
For Susan and Steve and Bev and Stanley….