Garden Magic

I climb out of the car, and walk toward my community garden plot with my eyes are trained on the plot next to mine. A young man, hair pulled back in a ponytail, and a little girl—maybe two-years-old—are in it. I get closer and see they’re both barefoot, and I’m thrilled by the ordinary extraordinariness of dirty bare feet in a garden.

We greet one another, he’s new this year. He introduces me to Allie, his little mud-covered daughter. I affix my watering wand to my hose as we chat. I learn they’ve just moved to our city.

They’re delighted with this little plot of earth as he, his wife, and sweet little Allie now live in an apartment. He tells me where it is, and smiles as he says it because it’s close enough so they can walk to the garden. I picture it. It’s a small unassuming building in an older, established part of the city.

We talk about planting, and weather, and the local farmer’s market that’s operating mostly online these days. He tells me about the farm he worked on before they moved here and his wife’s job that brought them to our city.

I watch Allie up to her knees in mud playing with a tractor and having the time of her life in this plot where nothing much green is growing yet. I think this man is growing the most valuable thing of all now—a daughter—and from what I can tell by their muddy bare feet and smiles, he’s doing a fine, fine job.

When my watering is finished and I’m back in the car ready to go home, I sit for a moment and watch as he hoses off his bare feet and slips them into a pair of sandals. That little scene looks a lot like hope. I think that man and his family have the power to change the world. For starters, they just changed my day.

Word wrangler. Photo taker. I'm here early most mornings with one of my photos and a few words about life and those thin places where faith intersects. Coming Summer 2020: The Presence of Absence: A Story About Busyness, Brokenness, and Being Beloved.
6 comments
  1. Such a sweet experience you shared with me this morning. After much sadness and crying over the passing of my sweet mom this last Saturday, this piece put a smile on my face. Mom loved gardening, especially teaching her young ones to love it too. Now this man and his little girl have changed my life too. Thanks, Linda.

    1. Oh Judy, it is so hard when we lose our moms. That this man and his little muddy, barefoot daughter brightened your morning is a sweet gift. Must love, my friend.

  2. Really enjoyed reading this post!!

  3. The bugs would just eat me up if I went barefoot like that.

  4. This is lovely. Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

  5. Your description of this sweet scene brought tears. The news is so harsh, so discouraging at times and I seem to take it in more than I should. This man and his daughter, are as you describe, a bright light, a hopeful sign. Thank you.
    Please know I love all your posts…but for some reason can’t “like” them.

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