As the summer is hitting its peak, our garden is proliferating with cherry tomatoes, two different kinds of lettuce, green peppers, herbs and more… I can’t take credit for it, but I certainly do appreciate it!  I’m also appreciating the increased interest across this country in local foods, eating healthy and the pinnacle of city gardens:  farmers markets. It is VERY exciting that Boston will soon (1 1/2 years soon) have its own downtown farmers market, following in the footsteps of other cities like Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco. 

But when I think of gardens and gardening, I am reminded of my cousin, an amazing gardener and gifted health care professional, who passed away over 3 years ago after struggling with lung cancer. Here is a poem that I wrote a couple years ago, following his untimely death…

Treatment stopped and powerful medicines eased the pain
So we sat on the porch on that crisp fall day
Atop the sloping hill, gazing at the garden below
Childlike in our wonder
Timeless in a moment of joy,
Feeling the warmth amidst the cool breeze
Wind chimes serenading us gently.

“Should I live another year”, you said,
“I’ll build a new bed
and get rid of those tall plants to let in more sun”.
Speaking quietly but resolutely,
as we sat on the porch on that crisp fall day.
Looking down at two tall grass-like reeds,
Surveying the garden and envisioning a valley of colorful abundance.

For the past two summers,
a cadre of family and friends have labored hard on this sacred land
Honoring your life and spirit with rakes and trowels, weeders and hoes,
Sprinkling the hills and valleys with greens, oranges and reds
that provide solid ground to your two young children.
Who grow stronger every day,
as they dig their fingers into rich, brown soil
that channels memories of their father through their tiny hands.

You had a plan when you surveyed the garden
from the porch on that crisp fall day
A moment of joy before things turned
The cool breeze and warm wind harmonizing
in a chorus of chimes and tears
Capturing a moment that continues to breathe
into that hallowed garden plot of land.