In The Garden

The Plant

The angel looked at the beautiful blossom being tended by the gardener ~ it had a rare beauty and a subtle fragrance that was soothing. She smiled quietly ~ yes, the gardener had been right and she was glad he had not heeded her words. The plant was one she had thought sure would never be worth his time, yet he insisted over the years in nurturing and tending it.

As a small seedling this plant had started full of promise ~ but the gardener had planted it too near a busy path. So for a time whenever it seemed there was any growth to the tender plant a careless step crushed it back down. But each time the gardener trimmed and tended the small plant. And each time the angel had shook her head ~ did he not see that this plant was going to keep getting crushed, and if he did not move it, it would wither and die?

One morning when she passed through the garden she noticed the plant was gone ~ and she was saddened ~ she had tried to tell him ~ but now it was too late. She spotted the gardener in a small rocky corner of the garden and walked to him. As she drew close she was surprised to see he had moved the small plant. He explained that it had grown too large for the place he had it. As the angel looked and wondered at his words (for the plant seemed so very small still where it had been broken off so many times) the gardener explained that because he had trimmed it so many times the roots and the main stem were strong and large and needed more space. The angel looked at the rocky soil and again shook her head. Surely in such poor dry soil the plant would wither and grow twisted and weak. But the gardener only smiled as he placed 5 strong supports around the plant to guide its growth and protect it. Each day the angel checked on the gardener and the plant and wondered he did not give up.

As time passed the plant grew tall and straight, much to the surprise of the angel. She noticed the gardener added a sixth support a bit taller than the five and had added some richer earth to the rocky garden. Then one morning as she passed through the garden she noticed that again the plant was gone. She searched around and found the gardener had moved the plant to an area where the soil was rich and moist. She was puzzled he had not placed it here before and he explained to thrive here it needed to be taller or it would get no sunlight, in the rocky corner it had access to the sun to gain height and the six supports allowed it to grow straight and tall. Now tall enough to reach the light it would, in the richer soil, fill in. As time passed it reached toward another plant ~ but was overshadowing the other ~ so the gardener separated the plants. After a time the plant found another plant that grew companionably with it ~ branches twining together so the 2 seemed to grow as one. The angel smiled ~ now the plant was doing well ~ so perhaps the gardener's effort was paying off.

Some time passed and one morning as the angel passed through the garden she found the gardener untwining the plants. A blight had taken the second plant and had left the first plant withered and sickly. Surely, she thought, there was little hope to save the plant. A silvery tear rolled down her cheek, but the gardener was already busy ~ pruning out the diseased parts of the plant. The damage to the plant brought some twisting to it, it began to grow wild and weed like, loosing its shape and identity. As the angel watched with a heavy heart it seemed to her the gardener fought to save a plant he had already lost. But the gardener was determined. The main stem is still strong he explained, the wildness is from damage from the blight ~ but it has not damaged the main part of the plant and there is a small bit of the plant that has been lost grafted into the main part of the plant.

It took a long time and diligence on the gardener's part, and a lot of loss on the plant's part ~ one by one the gardener placed new supports, some that would become part of the plant, some that would support the plant until new growth found strength. One morning as the angel passed through the garden she noticed new plants, one twining with the plant supporting it and being also supported by it and in some growing into the plant and becoming a part of the plant as the plants grafted together. Surely, she thought, the gardener needed to separate the plants so they could grow, but again he only smiled at her and continued. She had wondered at his choices. Now time had passed ~ and at last the plant was blooming, part of a beautiful and special garden in the great garden ~ and the grafts had each loaned their beauty to the beauty that had been within the small seedling the gardener had planted so many years earlier. The angel looked at the beautiful blossom being tended by the gardener ~ at its rare beauty and subtle and soothing fragrance. She smiled quietly, yes, the gardener had been right

(c) Candace

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