Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Gardener

Gardening meant a lot to my Pappaw who passed away last August.  He spent many hours preparing, tending, and harvesting his garden.  It was often the highlight of my grandparents day.  "What did we get from the garden, today?"  The satisfaction of growing and harvesting your own food is something that my generation has not experienced.  We go to the grocery store and the hard work of people like my grandfather is already beautifully displayed in neat rows of color and size.
Things have changed at my grandparent's house.  My grandmother, Maxine, has adjusted the best that she knows how to life without him.  Last time we visited, the weather was a usual Texas 100 degrees.  Scorching, dry heat beat down on my grandfather's only producing tree.  His pear tree.
The garden boxes he had built were dry and overgrown with weeds.  Their gardener had passed away.  One lone pear tree attempted to defy its' predestined path.  Sagging branches, heavy with green pears - not yet ripe.  Leave the pears and the birds will take them.  Leave the pears and the heat will take them.  So, for one last time, we stood in for the Real gardener.  We stood in his place in the year of his death and we freed the sagging branches of their burden.  I was glad my children could do this with me.  They will not know their great-grandfather as I knew him.  As we picked pears from his tree, they did not understand that this was his last crop.  The last producing crop in the year of his death.
Will the pear tree produce next year?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Things change.  Life changes.  Without my Pappaw, life feels a bit out of sync.  We shared many family meals and memories enjoying the fruits of his labor.  And no matter what his Earthly garden looks like, I know that his Heavenly reward is perfect.   Row after row of trees that do not taste the fierceness of the elements or even death.  It is here that "our Gardener" has found rest with the One who indeed created the very first Garden to give to man.  It is there where I see him busy at work serving a good God who allowed him to continue honing his gardening skills. We ALL will reap what we sow.  We ALL will taste the fruits of our labor.  Though his Earthly garden has been silenced by the sting of death, he lives with the Father.  And I know his soul is satisfied.
"..On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.  And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be any curse...  "  Revelation 22:2-3


Jan said...

Ahh this made me cry. Great truths and fond memories. Very nice.

Jessica Kirkland said...

Thanks. It was pretty hard to write as well.

Anonymous said...

Tears...yes-but very special stor!