James Baldwin once said about writers: “The importance of a writer is continuous… His importance, I think, is that he is here to describe things which other people are too busy to describe.”
Well, I have become one of those people who has become too busy. And I’m really trying to sort it out. Even a quiet life can become overfilled with activity.
Anything a person does to organize anything requires endless attention. I’ve gone from organizing words and sentences to organizing trees and flowers! The one is actually much harder than the other. (You can decide which is which.) As to which is more important? That’s the real question. I suppose it’s like it’s written in Ecclesiastes 3:1: there is an appointed time for everything.
My gardens have grown to the point that next year, I do believe next year, I will have to have help. This is the summer of my discontent (no time). Next year, the gardens will begin to support themselves. And I will have hired help, and more time for words and sentences.
The truth is that there is something wonderful about gardens. They are worth the time the take. They teach their own lessons, including the very important lesson about patience. Flowers open when they’re ready to open. Bees find their way to them when they’re sweetest.
Patience, however, is an abstract sort of thing. The garden teaches very practical lessons as well. For instance, birds tend to choose safe places to nest and when they don’t there is not a good ending.
Life is a balance of choices. Patience is a virtue, it’s said. But to be eternally patient is to get nothing done. Balance. Choices.
M L S Baisch