Tending a garden is much like tending one’s own life-a microcosm of life, if you will. Just as we fulfill the basic necessities of life, so too does a garden flourish if we care for it with the basics like sunshine, water, nutrients, and protection from harsh elements, if need be. While success is dependent on a number of factors, if the basics are neglected, success will never happen. In essence, “you reap what you sow.”
Steve Bates’ Seeds of Spring: Lessons from the Garden beautifully and metaphorically weaves elements of the garden into all the aspects of tending one’s garden of life. Bates states, “We find simple comfort at the sight of earthworms enriching our land. We appreciate the slow unfolding of delicate dahlia petals. We want to believe that no pest can dare disturb our treasures. But when bad things do happen, something forces us to challenge the gardening fates, to defy the odds of drought and disaster, to fight back and make it right.”
Bates compares raising dahlias with raising children. While parents hope that nothing unfortunate ever happens to their children, they are prepared to set things right if something does go wrong. Likewise the tender of a garden keeps a vigilant watch over the garden, making sure that all is right.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a parent is “one who brings up and cares for another.” Like parents, gardeners can never guarantee that their crops, flowers, herbs, or plants will mature just the way that they had hoped; however, they do accept that it is all a work in progress. Bates discusses the importance of preparation and enjoying the journey. While the end result is of utmost importance, for parents at least, the journey to adulthood is most rewarding as well.
Parents and gardeners often spend time thinking of the future, and how one aspect of life will affect another. In much the same way, Bates talks about his pea vines and pepper plants: “In this case, it means that the six-foot-plus pea vines are providing much more shade than I had expected for the spot where I’m planting four pepper plants. The danger is that the peppers will become too leggy, too soft, and too slow to mature by spending a couple of weeks in the shade of the peas.” Ultimately, parents and gardeners have a job to do. They must both be meticulous and pay attention to every minor detail when it comes
to protecting their children, and their plants.
Steve Bates’ Seeds of Spring: Lessons from the Garden is a must read for parents and gardeners alike. It’s also the perfect gift for the couple contemplating marriage or starting a family. Its words provide beautiful imagery while offering sound advice for life. Truly, this book should be in every home.
Find out more about Seeds of Spring: Lessons from the Garden by visiting Amazon.com