Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Imagine never seeing your garden

Below is a post I just did for my horticulture blog, I felt it fit over here...

"I could tell my husband now about Goodman in the garden. I raised Goodman myself—solid black Lab—and, after a year gave him up, the way you do, for further training and a life with Alice Banks. Alice was a gardener. She and her husband relaxed on weekends tending beds of annuals and several kinds of tomatoes. When Alice and Goodman graduated from the program, Alice said I was welcome to stay in touch. It is always the Blind person's call."

from The Dog Of The Marriage, a short story by Amy Hempel

I had nearly finished the collected stories of Amy Hempel the last time I was on break from teaching. Maybe it was being on break which brought me back.
I stopped while reading and wondered... can you garden blind? Blind gardening, can you imagine? I try. I imagine the difficulties. The struggle. How much of gardening for me is a visual joy? With that gone...
I end up pondering the state of my spirit if I was to lose my vision. Would I become deflated and bitter? What would happen to those things for which I have a passion?
My students come to school as I would enter blind to a garden... every right to be bitter. Paper and pen... words and numbers... these things make school a hard place filled with failures. It is my job more than any other to show them the joy that can happen in a classroom. Sometimes I can do this, with their help.
If I become blind, I hope to remember to find those who bring joy into my life. So now I imagine entering my garden blind, but I am not lost and alone for I am guided by my friends, family, and one hip black Lab.


  1. ...this reflection jolted my memories here.

  2. I sometimes wonder what I would do if I couldn't see to quilt....those wonderings have motivated me to do more now, and not procrastinate...or wait 'til I "deserve" the treat....

  3. I believe you would identify each individual plant by its aura, that each individual plant would speak to you the words that you cannot now see.

  4. Michelle--- I am glad I could be one who jolts memories

    Giggles--- did you quilt today?

    Beryl--- same world, yet different.

  5. Great to get a view of that school where you give so much of yourself to others. It's early here and I don't have time to explore, but I shall return. Blind gardening. Sounds like me with a packet of seeds...

  6. I am waiting for newly ordered stencils to come... I am chomping at the bit to quilt this wedding gift. It is ready to be quilted and I am ready to quilt. (And, unfortunately, nothing else in the pipeline!)

  7. Jim--- gardening for me is something that calls gently. I often ignore, but once involved I can stay there for a while...

    Gigggle--- hope they arrive soon.


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