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Charming Gardeners

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Spring in New England is a tricky thing. We pivot from beautiful warm days to snow squalls and bitter wind, often within a few minutes of each other. But the days grow longer and we quietly grow more confident about putting the lawn furniture back out and maybe planting some seeds in starter soil. Basil, cilantro and parsley are each growing in sunny windowsills as I write this, and I’m considering getting the dahlia bulbs going soon. Such is the mind of a gardener.

Proust writes of a different kind of gardener, of course, but they’re generally one and the same. The people who light us up in social interaction are quiet observers of humanity, readers of eyes and solicitors of smiles. In this particular time when social interaction has been elusive, we haven’t had as much interaction like this, and we’ve never needed it more.

Spring brings hope to the gardener, and vaccines bring hope for time with those people who make us happy. I’m as ready for a gathering of celebration with friends and family as I am for the smell of fresh cut grass and tomato vines. Confident hugs and hand squeezes and shoulder leans are just around the corner.

Imagine the days ahead, as a gardener imagines them – life blossoming anew, hope in the air, warm sun on our backs. Breathe in the fresh warm air, turn towards friends old and new, and smile. They could use it – and so could you.

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