Smile, Though the Season’s Ending

Me with Sue and Judy's Garden

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking

“Smile” by Charles Chaplin, John Turner, and Geoffrey Parsons

Another gardening season is slowly but steadily drawing to a close. Soon the garden implements will be cleaned, oiled, and put away for the last time this year. The hose will be rolled up and stored away, and the last tomato eaten. Seven months of planting, cultivating, and harvesting – and now it’s all over. Soon, the patch of ground which you tended with great care and joy will be covered over with a mass of cold, white misery. And cold and white in great abundance will be the theme for the next three or four months.

Sound depressing? Well it is – if you choose to focus on the misery of cold and snow. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” So let’s heed his wise advice and smile. Smile as the snowflakes blanket the patch of ground that once blossomed with bright and colorful fruits and vegetables. Smile as you turn up the heat and throw on another sweater. And smile even when you’ve had it up to here with the holiday season. Because, my friends, you have a lot to smile about. You have a cupboard filled with pickles, chutneys, jams, and jellies. Your meals crackle with flavor because of all the herbs that you harvested, dried, and added to the food. You have fresh produce in cold storage in your basement, window well, or buried in the ground to be savored whenever you choose. And every time you bite into one of these carefully preserved fruits and vegetables, the misery of winter disappears for a few moments and a glint of summer comes shining through.

And very soon, the seed catalogs will start filling your mailbox, starting as a trickle in December and turning into a flood by March – which brings us to a final, smile-inducing reminder that cold, ice, and snow do not last forever. The earth will once again tilt towards the sun, the days will start getting longer, and the weather warmer. And before you know it, it will be time once again to start tilling the soil, planting seed, and preparing for another season of gardening.

So smile, my friends. Gardening never truly ends. It just takes a short hiatus. But it will always come back. Always.

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