Saturday is my gardening day. I usually water all the houseplants and then make my way outside to see what needs my attention. Today it was the front yard. I have been gone a lot and completely forgot to tell anyone that my pots needed to be watered. So when I came home all the plants were dead. I was disappointed mostly in myself for neglecting this detail. But as my friend said, “out with the old, in with the new”. I took that to heart and decided to move on.
With my trowel in one hand and a clump of allysum in the other I heard my husband call me from the backyard. He was getting ready to go to the bank today instead of his usual trip on Monday and needed the deposit slips, now. I patiently washed my hands, found the deposit slips and was on my way back to my project when I saw two little packets of watermelon seeds on his desk. He saw me looking at them and asked, “when are you going to plant these?”
I said,”I’m not. Watermelons take up too much room, they need full sun, we don’t have the space.”
“You know what?” he said , “You make me so angry sometimes. Look at this!”, he pointed to the Austrailian Tree Fern growing tall and beautiful. “What good is it?”
I said, “Why don’t you rip it out and plant watermelons?”
I grabbed the packets off his desk and said, “Okay, fine”. I shook the seeds from their packets and let them fall where they would among my roses blooming magnifincently alongside fragrant geraniums. I continued on with my Saturday gardening . A few minutes later he appeared on the front steps. Natural linen pants, black shirt, clean shaven and said, “This whole garden is yours. I don’t say anything about what you do here. Now I’m asking for one thing and you say “no”. Don’t you think that’s selfish?” I thought about that. Yes, it’s selfish. But aren’t I the one who takes care of this garden? Am I not the one who has carefully considered where and what to add and take away in order to make it beautiful? And now impulsively you want to add watermelons?
Yet somehow I understood his point of view. Would it be that terrible to add watermelons that could potentially take over the entire backyard? Since these days I’ve been thinking about life and it’s brevity, I decided that I rather let my husband, who I love, enjoy the prospect of watermelons than to fight with him and perhaps grow bitter against him.
Sunday morning, before going to church, I went out and gathered all the watermelon seeds I could find that I had broadcast across the garden. I carefully placed them in trays in seedling soil. There they will sprout. Then I’ll decide where to plant them so they spread out and have everything they need to bear fruit.
I said,” I’m sorry”. This was humbling and painful.
“Come give me a kiss”,he said.
“You have to meet me half way”, I said.
He took the tiniest step forward. I demanded half way, and then we kissed.
Whether or not the watermelon seeds grow and develop he has become a part of my garden.
We are in this together.