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Grandmother tending her garden

June 18, 2013

You bend over your lemon shrub, pruning shears in hand, deftly trimming the tops to encourage it to blossom and billow. You stoop to pick a leaf and massage it, lifting your fingers to your nose and delighting in the heady citrus scent – ah, this one will bear much fruit. You remember it from three years ago, a delicate young sapling with promise. Though more slender than others, it had a cheery insouciance that drew you in. You remember telling the nursery owner that it needed but time and care to grow into its promise, and you had plenty of both to give.
Pottering over to kneel by your geraniums, you delight in the mix of ginger and nutmeg aromas that waft up. Using a hand cultivator to plough the soil, you mix in some mulch. Pausing to rest, you trace a finger over the soft, fuzzy foliage, the lacy shape of the leaves reflected in the hand-knitted tangerine shawl delicately draped over your shoulders.
Running along the front of the porch, you approach your pride and joy – rows of intoxicating gardenia blooms, the same snowy white as your hair, flanked by riotous African violets in rainbow shades. It is many summers since your children’s children have flown the coop, pruned and shaped into thriving beings by your patient hands – these are your children now.
Approaching the sunset of your life, you have ruminated over this question many times – what is the purpose of your life, what will you be remembered for? Cast your eyes over this oasis – every nature of shape, color and fragrance grows in rapture here, tended to with love and precision. Your legacy isn’t in wealth or fame or any scientific discoveries – you are a nurturer, and your legacy is life, attaining its highest potential…

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