Haibun: I Am a Gardener
Several years ago excruciating back pain kept me out of my classroom for the three days. Much can happen, not all of it good, in three days.
According to the biblical story of creation, green growing things appeared on Earth on the third day: “…the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind…” (Genesis 1:12).
I thought of my students as plants that needed to be watered with praise and nourished with kindness so that they would grow and develop. But for three days they were without water and nutrients. For three days, they had to fend for themselves.
Plants that have to fend for themselves often don’t thrive. Weeds may creep in and suck away essential moisture and nutrients. Careless passersby may trample delicate plants. Thieves may jump over the garden wall and steal fruit. Untoward things are bound to happen when the gardener’s away from the garden—even for three days.
I remember thinking: I don’t want my students to wither. I don’t want the weeds of apathy to steal their joy of learning. I don’t want their knowledge to be stolen like ripe fruit. I am a gardener. I belong in my garden.
a blackbird in the orchard
stealthily pecks plums.
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Gardens”