In The Garden

Grandfather's Tale

The garden was again flourishing, again a lovely tranquil place. The angel walked through smiling, One day, she thought to herself, she would learn to trust that the gardener knew what he was doing - yet for some reason she still seemed to feel the need to question every reason, every choice the gardener made. In her heart she could see - she would always question, and the gardener would always be right. As she wandered drinking in the perfection of the garden her mind wandered back to the large tree that had once stood here, to when it had been moved.

The angel had entered the garden - looking for the gardener - a look of deep concern on her face. She glanced about the garden as she sought him. Yes, the others had cried out truthfully. The tree had been the central focus of the garden - three generations had since sprung up under its steady strength and protection. Tall and steady, its deep roots had held the very earth together, and it's wide spreading branches and offered shelter and shade to the seedlings that had sprung from its line. And even more depended upon the tree, the smaller creatures that sheltered in the welcoming branches, the larger creatures that took shelter in its shade, and the many other plants growing near or in it's shade. Now the tree was gone, where it had stood a cavernous hole in the very earth. And so many plants and others disturbed - displaced.

Finally she found the gardener - he looked weary, a deep sadness seemed to wrap around him. "How could you?" the angel demanded. "The tree was strong and vibrant - now that part of the garden is devastated." He smiled at the angel. "Yes, it is a magnificent tree, and I could have trimmed out the few branches that were weaker or broken. But it was time - I eventually move all my plantings to the grand garden, and the place for the tree was ready." The gardener looked off wearily into the distance. "I know there is much now I need to tend, damage in the garden that I need to fix. It will take time and patience - but the garden will again flourish."

"I recall when I planted that tree - just a sapling, yet already tall and steady and full of promise. " The gardener smiled a distant smile as his mind wandered back remembering the tall thin sapling. "I have seen much of the tree in the saplings that continue its line. They will one day allow the garden to continue to expand."

"And what of the others? Those that are now displaced? The smaller creatures that lived in the spreading branches no longer have a home and the larger creatures that sheltered in its shade are without. " Silver tears were now flowing freely down the angel's delicate face as she thought of the creatures that had for so long looked to the tree for shelter. And too, the tree had stood as a guide for many - so tall and steady, it was for many a reference point in the garden. "What of the other plantings that depended on the shade of the tree to protect them from the sun?" She thought of that part of the garden and how devastated it had seemed when she had passed it looking for the gardener.

Slowly the gardener turned to face the angel. And only then did she see that he was crying also. "I will tend to them all. The smaller creatures will spread from the tree to the next generation in its line just as they spread to the tree when I removed the tree from before it. The other plantings will find shade and shelter from the newer trees. And the larger creatures will find that the younger trees also offer shelter." He looked into the angel's eyes and she knew all would be alright.

"Would you like to see where I have moved the tree to? I have a few moments, we can see how things are going." He smiled gently. When she nodded he gently took her hand and led her to a different garden. As her eyes opened wide in amazement his heart lightened. "This is why I moved the tree", he explained. All the angel could do was nod in stunned amazement.

The gardener had led her into a valley, more lovely than any she had ever seen. All manner of plants seemed to flourish here. At the far end of the valley was a magnificent waterfall providing water to the entire valley. And wrapped across the sky was the most beautiful, perfect rainbow. As she drank it all in the gardener smiled. "The rainbow is always there", he explained. "Here my garden is perfect."

The angel finally spotted the tree - and was amazed, it had only just been moved yet it was ever more magnificent than it had ever been. As she looked closer she realized all of the weak and broken branches were again vibrant and whole. Again the gardener smiled at her. Silver tears again flowed down her delicate cheeks - only these were tears of joy. "Come", he said quietly, "there is much to be repaired in the garden."


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