Garden that Jack Built
from “A Large Slice of Life to Go, Please!”
They arrive daily. Sometimes a single laborer but most often a crew
of a half dozen. They dig, they shovel dirt, they pour sand, they
lay interlocking block, and they move large boulders and small blocks
and logs. Finally, they plant ornamental trees and shrubs.
my 9th floor balcony where I often bring my laptop to write, I can
gaze out at the magnificent Detroit skyline and watch the large
lake freighters and pleasure boats pass by. On the trail in the
riverpark I can also watch the thousands of daily visitors walk,
bike and rollerblade. Very inspiring. However, it is what is happening
directly below me, on a small piece of turf that is holding my attention
was only an empty muddy lot of few weeks ago is being transformed
into a most beautiful rock garden - stone by stone, plant by plant,
day by day. Much like a jigsaw puzzle that started as a pile of
tiny cardboard pieces and ends as a complete picture.
witnessed on more than one occasion these landscapers tearing down
a small section they had just built only to change the shape. They
are obviously following a design but when what was once on paper
became reality, they chose to make adjustments to their plan - to
make it better.
morning while having coffee and watching the sunrise, I noticed
that someone had destroyed the section they had built the night
before. I took this rather personally and became angry with the
thoughtless vandal who chose to destroy this work in progress. I
didn't happen to witness the crew's reaction to the destruction
but by the time I next looked down later that day, the damage had
been repaired and a new section was being worked on.
mornings when it’s raining, they don't show up. They can't,
of course, work the ground when it's wet. No doubt, they are putting
this off-time to good use spending time with family and friends,
and resting up, as this is afterall, hard work.
most impressive thing I've noticed about all of this is that most
of these laborers take time to stand back and take an admiring look
at their progress. In fact, the leader of this crew, the one who
shows up alone on certain days, is always the last to leave, and
although I'm too far away to see the details of his face, I can
tell that when he takes a long, last look before he leaves in the
evening, it's beaming with absolute pride!
emerging rock garden is a perfect example of the Balance we all
need in our lives. Time to plan, time to work, time to spend with
those we love, time to adjust, time to rebuild and time to sit back,
admire and be proud of all that we have accomplished.
was once a patch of mud has become a place of beauty that will impact
thousands of people in a most wonderful way.
ask, shouldn't our lives be like the building of a rock garden?