Anyone can spot my apartment balcony from yards away. A cascade of green vines and leaves twirl elegantly around the bars below the patio railing. The grassy-colored greenery helps add to the peaceful paradise feeling you get when you sit in one of the patio chairs underneath the awning. You cannot avoid the bright greens from the various herbs and spices sprouting in medium-sized round pots and planters. And when you brush up against the springy shrubs adorning the sides surrounding the outdoor space your noise is gifted with a smell of fresh basil and parsley that lingers long enough to encourage a small grin from your mouth.
I have had my prized garden for more than a couple of years now. I have grown lettuce, parsley, oregano, basil, tomatoes, sunflowers (which was a huge and very beautiful mistake), among many other things. I have taken tiny succulents and watched them grow and sprout into large handfuls of desert jewels. I’ve taken pleasure knowing that I have cultivated new life from a small seed, and I continue to relish in the steady-paced miracles that take place around my apartment every time I take hold of my watering can.
However, there are sometimes when I don’t notice something growing. I become frustrated with the barren vines that lack fruit or the delicate flowers who wither under the weight of the boiling sun and die. My elated god-like mood diminishes to the lower moods of man, and I no longer feel as though I can create something enormous from the tiny seeds I took from other fruits. I eventually lack the faith needed to help my garden grow.
Then there are times when I notice a large bulb of gorgeous fruit that has seemed to have sprouted out of nowhere. An unripe tomato hangs its plump body off of the vine that lays waiting in the corner of my balcony. Despite the limited sun, this tomato has slipped past my radar and proudly presents itself after secretly growing in the corner, and I am suddenly pleased with my gardening skills again.
Like my garden, sometimes I do not see the things that have been growing in the background of my life. I see my life every day and do not always compare it to where I have been before. There are times where I make mistakes. Sometimes much needed beautiful mistakes and other times mistakes where I wither under the weight but eventually learn from and move on. There are instances where I see a steady growth of progress climbing around the many obstacles that stand in its way, and with a bit of care, I see my garden of life thrive. Like my garden, my life still changes with time.
Nothing I encounter among the twists and turns of the vine-like paths are the same. I see a thousand different opportunities and personalities budding from the earth. Like my garden, I do my best to take the time to enjoy the fruits of my labor in life. Like the withered flowers, I know one day, hopefully after a very long and wonderful life, my time will come to return to the earth. Like the withered flower, I hope to leave enough good behind on the earth for the next generation of beautiful flowers to grow and thrive.