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Garden Blessings

Ah, yet, ere I descend to the grave
May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends, and many books, both true,
Both wise, and both delightful too!
And since love ne’er will from me flee,
A Mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian angels are,
Only beloved and loving me.

— Abraham Cowley, The Wish

The air is filled with squeaky chirps and the buzzing sound of wings beating the warm morning air, announcing that the bluebirds of June were replaced by the hummingbirds of July. They remind me that the garden, despite early neglect, still dazzles, inspires and informs. The frenetic urgency of the hummingbirds to feed brings life to the midsummer garden, just when it most needs a lift.

It’s sometimes easy to forget the things we build around us that attract nuance and substance. We build our lives on the four cornerstones of relationships, legacy, learning and action. Each in turn determines who we might become as we build our life atop this foundation. Like the birds flirting briefly with the garden, people come and go from our lives. Jobs and money and fashion come and go. We each note the changes, but how we react is determined by who we’ve grown to be.

What is a garden but a foundation? We stake our place in this world to cultivate our hopes and dreams as life changes around us like the seasons. Each season brings enchantment, frustration, context and acceptance. We become what we cultivate, influenced by the seasons but not always determined by them. Everything has its time, and the blessings in our lives must be realized in their own season.

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