ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD…by Marge Pitts
We’ve entered the phase when the seedlings we tucked into their beds six weeks ago are rising up like grizzly bears, standing on two legs and announcing, “Thank you very MUCH! Now get out of my way, I’m going to get BIGGER!”
I wondered where Sarah and Kate were as I looked over the garden. Surely they were here somewhere: our gatherings wouldn’t be the same without those reliable friends. Then Sarah’s head popped up in the pepper patch, like a pelican returning to the surface of the sea, with a handful of jalapenos instead of a pouch full of fish. In a moment, Kate’s head appeared near Sarah’s. Laughing and doing chores, Sarah and Kate. All was right with the world so far, I thought.
I eased into the garden, mentally saying “excuse me, excuse me” to the hip-high tomato plants I had to jostle through to get to a pile of grass mulch that Rebecca wanted us to spread around the kale. I do my mulching on my knees, to reflect reverence for the living soil where the soul of the earth resides; also because I enjoy crawling in a garden. Crawling around, I found an exquisite eggplant, hidden at the base of its mother just like an egg in a nest. The eggplant was perfectly ripe, if a bit small. I picked it and stood up in triumph. “Look!” I said. “An eggplant!”
Jill said, “It looks just like an egg!” And sure enough, it did. It could have been a goose egg or turtle egg or dinosaur egg. Purple, yes, but unmistakably an egg. I examined it as I placed it on the table where we share the harvest. All is right with the world, I thought, when an eggplant looks exactly like an egg.
Marge (one of us is the other Marge) came along with a bag of hand-made yarn coasters. She was passing them out as gifts to the rest of us, very proudly, as she had made them herself without help. We sat down together, the two Marges. I admired the colorful rubber-band bracelets Marge was wearing. She promptly gave one of them to me. She had made them without help, too! I had a basket with words in it, for our “pick-a-word” storytelling activity later. I picked out a word at random to show Marge, and she surprised me by reading each letter of the word back to me. B-E-A-U-T-Y. All is right with the world when one Marge reveals Beauty to the other Marge.
More people were starting to arrive at the garden, just in time for snacks and storytelling. Here came Edward, confident stride, hip sunglasses, handsome smile. “All right, Edward’s here!” I hollered, applauding. Edward laughed and grinned at me as he joined the group and found a seat for himself. All is right with the world, I thought, when Edward realizes how perfectly he belongs in this happy place.
Then we played “pick-a-word”, where each of us picks a word randomly from the basket and tells a story containing that word. Carol picked the word “Mulch.” She told us how this very day, she had accompanied Jojo and Todd up to the big lawn with a wheelbarrow to collect grass clippings to use as mulch in the garden. “I feel that today I passed some kind of test with Jojo,” Carol said. “On the way back to the garden, he held my hand.”
All is right with you, I thought, when Jojo holds your hand. And all is right with the world, when we applaud each other’s garden stories, out of reverence for the soul that resides there.