Thursday, August 05, 2004

Something More

“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden….And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food…..”
~ Genesis 2:8,9 (NKJV)

Since I’ll just be getting back from vacation when this article comes out, I’m going to send this off in advance and keep it short.

In my last column I wrote about who I am…. and who I’m not. Well, to continue with that theme, I would like to add that I am also not a gardener, a seamstress, a canner or an animal lover. Don’t get me wrong, I like animals – I just don’t want to own them. And I have great admiration for people like my mother-in-law who is a master seamstress and quilter, as well as a great gardener and canner. In fact, every time they come to see us we look forward to the box of canned tomatoes they bring along. It’s just not me, which used to leave me with a feeling of inadequacy…. but I’m over that now.

You’ve already read about my fiasco with using the wrong kind of weed spray on our entire back yard. I try to be helpful, but it always seems to backfire on me. I think the moral of the story is to find your strengths and know your weaknesses. Don’t frustrate yourself by trying to be like Aunt Janine or your neighbor, Suzy or your mother, father, brother or sister. Just be you. Like Rebecca Miller said – she is grateful for the talents God gave her and she doesn’t begrudge the fact that He didn’t choose to give her others. Isn’t it sad that many of us spend our time wishing we could be more like someone else, while they may be wishing they could be more like us? Part of being content includes being satisfied with oneself.

It reminds me of the lyrics of that song Sara Evans sings titled, “I Keep Looking.”

Well, the straight haired girls
They all want curls
And the brunettes wanna be blonde
It's your typical thing
You got ying - you want yang
It just goes on and on
They say, hey, it's only human
To never be satisfied
Well I guess that I'm as human as the next one

Oh, I keep looking
I keep looking for
I keep looking for something more
I always wonder what's on the other side
Of the number two door
Yeah, I keep looking
Looking for something more

Every spring Keen and I have great enthusiasm and high hopes for a beautiful garden. Keen diligently tills the garden and prepares the ground so we can plant our usual collection of vegetables. We start out with the best of intentions, but inevitably our garden ends up with lots of weeds, rotten tomatoes and zucchini squash the size of footballs.

Oddly enough, the two cherry tomato plants we placed as an afterthought by our backdoor always seem to do well. So recently I suggested to Keen that next year we might want to face the fact that we’re not gardeners and just go with the two tomato plants by the back door. Well, he’s not quite ready to throw in the towel and concede defeat yet, despite our dismal track record.

My new writer friend, LeNore Stumpf, wrote a great poem on this subject in her book of poetry titled “Wise and Otherwise.” With her permission, I’d like to share it with all of you.

Winner Take All
By LeNore Stumpf

Spring has come at last, I guess,
my garden is a muddy mess
and I'm quite willing to confess
I honestly could not care less.

Why fight the likes of grass and weeds
that choke out baby carrot seeds
and do some other heinous deeds,
concerned with only their own needs?

I've hoed and weeded, day and night.
I've battled bugs with all my might.
This spring I think the time is right
for me to just give up the fight.

This year I will not yearn for rain
or put myself through further pain;
enthusiasm I'll not feign,
the whole idea is insane.

No more gardens I'll be messing,
no grass or weeds I'll be suppressing,
I won't find bugs or worms distressing --
I give it to them with my blessing.

~ Eileen