Once there was a little girl who loved to pick pansies from a tiny garden behind the garage. She used her weathered tin Holly Hobbie watering can to gently nourish the tumble of petunias and velvety coleus. She carefully tugged weeds from the earth, allowing the plants room to spread and flourish.
Her neighbor, Aurore, gave her generous clumps of violets from her own garden, and showed her how to lay their tender roots in the ground. The little girl's father showed her how to plant butternut squash seeds in rounded mounds of earth, and how to recognize the warble of the purple finch.
As the little girl grew, she always carried in her heart a love of gardens, of birds, of nature. They nourished her soul, and became an integral part of the woman she would become.
Many years later, that little girl, (now a woman), was blessed with a sensible home and a beautiful garden. Surrounded by winding fences of aged bittersweet vines, the garden sat at the foot of a hill, safeguarded by nearby woodland.
In spring the woman sowed flower and vegetable seeds, carefully planning out the raised vegetable beds, perennial borders, and berry patch. When the frosty spring gave way to warmer ground, the woman planted the seedlings in their new homes. The woman tended the gardens daily, feeling renewed, never burdened.
All summer the woman, (and her sweet little family), gathered from their gardens….hands full of raspberries to top with homemade whipped cream, juicy tomatoes to layer with fresh basil and mozzarella….buckets filled with lavender and wildflowers, ready to grace the center of the farm table at dinner or to be sold in jars at the little farm stand. The family dog waited patiently for crisp green beans, better than any commercially baked dog treat.
As summer faded to fall, the woman's heart sank a bit as she knew she had to return to her teaching job, and would have to leave her sweet garden; however, her garden now nourished her. Vibrant zinnias burst skyward with jewel-toned blossoms, tiny ears of corn sat plump and ripe, pumpkins lay ready to be picked, effortlessly coordinating with the autumn leaves scattered across the landscape.
Eventually, frost danced its way down the hill, over the gardens and into the woods. It left a glistening silvery carpet across the grass, and encrusted the late bloomers' petals in an icy blanket. The woman still visited the gardens, even when the skies of winter poured forth snowfall after snowfall.
When March blew its chilly winds across the woman's garden, she tucked herself inside, playing with flowers...allowing store-bought blooms to momentarily replace what she knew was just an arm's reach away. As she created, varied petals became paint. As she laid each in place, she made a wish. Wishes that cannot be spoken….or written….wishes carried on the wind from the little girl's garden behind the garage. And with a sprinkle from the tiny tin Holly Hobbie watering can, wishes that will nurture for eternity.