Monday, July 03, 2006


Every day I take the bus I past this house. The back yard is mostly vegetable garden. Predictably the garden gets cleaned up and the plants go and they start to grow in uniformed rows every spring. Once the plants are growing visibly, an older gentlemen seems to enjoy sitting there watching them grow.

Each afternoon when I go by the house after work I notice the man sitting on a lawn chair in the shade that his garage affords watching his garden grow. I am not the only one who thinks this. I have heard other people on the bus mention this phenomenon too. Part of me thinks this is sad. This poor older man has nothing to do but sit there. Another part of me romanticizes this notion. Perhaps he gets joy out of watching his garden grow.

I think that maybe there is something inherently cool about watching something you created mature and grow. I also think that taking the time to enjoy the process of seeing the fruits of your labour is awesome. I know he is probably watching us as much as we are watching him. What does he think about us while he is sitting there watching the daily commuters make their way home? I wonder if he thinks we are stuck in the daily grind. Is he grateful for the simplicity of his routine? I know that I look for him almost every day. I miss him in the winter. I lament when I see he has cleaned his garden out that I won’t see him until next year.

I am beginning to ponder if there are ways I can gain some of this simplicity without going to the extreme of quitting my job and becoming a vegetable gardener. I don’t think it pays well enough to pay the mortgage and I am not much of a gardener to begin with. However I do enjoy witnessing life. I like to notice stuff. I guess that is what makes me a writer.

Sometimes when we think about the abundant life God promises we think about the big stuff. Some people are looking for big flashy material things. I have to admit that I like my stuff as much as any one else. But stuff is not how I define abundance. I look for events. I look for the impact I am having. I look for the friends I have and the life we share together. I look for a life worth living.

I think those things are worthy of desire. Yet I wonder if I am missing out on the small stuff. I am beginning to think that abundance may partially be about watching my garden grow.

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