Sunday, September 13, 2009

Senior Gardening Day

Many of you may know that I am the store director of Portland Nursery on Division St.
Every year we have a Senior Gardening Day. Hundreds of senior citizens from all over are bused in and many that do not live in assisted living homes come in as well. It is a day filled with laughter, music, food and fun. For many, it is the only time a year that they get out. Seniors tend to get a bad wrap in our society. Many think that all of them are crotchety and mean. If that is true…there is no sign of it on this day at our store. Smiles are as ubiquitous as sand at the beach. There is dancing and conversation and remembering more youthful times in their gardens. It is very heart warming to be a part of as it both honors me and humbles me at the same time.
As everything in my life makes me reflect on nature, I couldn’t help thinking this year during the festivities how very connected to nature each one of us are, whether we realize it or not. For the people that live a long time life must be much like an oak tree. It starts out so small but as time passes, such strength and stamina abound and before you know it there is a behemoth tree in front of you that certainly will eventually pass on but for this moment in time, withstands everything that life can throw at it.
It is always with excitement that I listen to someone’s tale of their youth, what vegetables they used to plant or ‘wicked’ little tales of fruits stolen from some neighbor’s yard, only to become sick on the bounty from eating too many or ones that were not ripe enough.
Yes, we humans and our gardens are inexorably tied together, for better or worse.
If you have parents or grandparents still around you, ask them about some tales from their youth. Plant those seeds so that you can, in turn tell your tales eventually. Or perhaps donate a bit of your time to work in an assisted living home. They will appreciate it completely and what you grow will be as beautiful as anything nature has to offer.
Whatever you do, do it with the vigor of nature, because even a lifetime can go by too quickly…
Happy Gardening,

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