The Garden Of Neglect

Jean-Charles Couty
Jean-Charles Couty

I have spent too long a time away from my garden; the craft of writing. Too long I have spent worrying and criticizing how others attend to their gardens, not to notice the barren land of mine has allowed the weeds to thrive. Too often the zephyrs of word and lyric that I have felt gently blow through me, that have enticed passion and stirred my soul, had drifted away. I have caught a few, but for the most, I have neglected to reach in and catch them, so to plant them in paper. Some may return, but many have gone, perhaps to reform in idea and content and blow through me or someone else who may notice their beauty and potential, their value and worth.

My garden no longer has holes in its fence for which to allow vermin in to steal and nibble and kill. It no longer has holes in its fence for me to wriggle and crawl out to escape the responsibility of the gardener. I have oiled the creaky front gate and it now swings open and closed with ease and purpose. The rust is falling away and returns as mineral to the soil. My garden still has weeds in it. Some are deep rooted and require great strength and discipline to extricate. The demanding and bitter weed will always want to overrun the fertile soil and not allow or make way for the preferred fruit. But one by one as I continually walk my garden, I pull out the old and the new ones that will try to take hold. There is no more time left to sit comfortably on a lonely chair at a distant sunny corner to not notice the eradication. I am tending. I tend.

It will be my hope to someday walk, as an older man near the end of his days as gardener, between the furrows that were and the lush plantings that will be, that allow no room for a weed to grow. Let it be my eventual joy to walk through the front gate one last time and look back at what I have tended to and grown.

Today the sun shines, tomorrow the rain may fall. The winds will most certainly blow. There is much to catch and plant. There is much to do. TC mark

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