Harvest of Joy

Satisfactory Essays
Harvest of Joy

It seemed pretty simple at the beginning. My father showed me how to prepare the soil, to plant the seeds and to water them, and to harvest the vegetables. If I sustained the garden, the garden would sustain me. But my relationship with our garden has grown much more complicated than that. Over time, the garden has sustained me more than I have sustained it.

In December, my father suffered a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. His heart stopped twice during the operation, and he was not expected to survive. He had an intensive recovery period, and I wanted nothing more than to make him better immediately. His trauma had made me impatient and afraid to hope. I was having trouble waiting for things to unfold naturally and wanted to know what would happen in the end. Simple, everyday decisions or occurrences took on great importance.

For six weeks, I was running between the hospital, home and work, between fear and hope, anxiety and joy. One January morning, I went out to the garden to check on a small patch of parsley that my father kept covered with blankets to protect it from the snow. It had been neglected since he went into the hospital. When I uncovered it, I was surprised to find bright green and fragrant parsley. I began to become filled with hope that like that small patch of parsley that was still flourishing in the winter despite the odds, my father would flourish again as well.

By the time spring came, my father was regaining his strength. My father and I tilled and prepared the soil, then began planting the seeds. Though I wanted them to sprout immediately, they had their own timetable. When they finally did, I was so excited to see them pushing their way up through the dirt and climbing towards the sun. We cared for the seedlings, giving them manure, aerating the soil, watering them daily, doing everything we could so they would keep growing. But my father would point out that the first rule of gardening is that we are not in control. We can only wait and watch and enjoy each moment. As the plants grew stronger, I felt myself growing stronger as well. Slowly, I was learning to wait and coming to understand that the growth process, like life itself, has a force and rhythm of its own, and that I could rely on it.
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