My New Year’s Garden

ILLUSTRATIONS BY JENNIFER B LUME
woman standing in front of garden

As we grow older, New Year’s Resolutions are apt to become more important to us. The accumulating years
begin to press down upon us, bringing acute awareness of our mortality. So we reflect on the previous year’s disappointments, consider those things that we have put off, and contemplate new possibilities—especially if we’re gardeners. Indeed, once the Christmas decorations have been stored away and the seed catalogs start to arrive, I find myself starting to ponder . . .

I planted too much anger and resentment last year, so this year I will replace them with some tolerance and patience. I really could have used some more enthusiasm, too, so I will add a little extra this time and plant it next to the hope. I have always wanted to cultivate laughter, and I have the perfect spot right next to the lighthearted expressions.

I planted too much anger and resentment last year. This year I will replace them.

Perhaps I should thin out the tears. I really don’t need very many of those. And, you know, I never really liked the frustration— it’s so invasive. I think I will replace it with harmony. I didn’t care for that variety of judgment, either. It’s casting a shadow over the kindness. It does complement the blame, but the other plants that are near it are not doing well. I will move them both to that far corner, and be sure to keep them pruned back. I should probably move the criticism back there, as well.

A person could never have too much peace, so I will order twice as much this year. I will add a couple more varieties of love and put them right here in the front, so that I can smell their fragrance whenever I walk past them.

There. Now I can place my orders. This catalog says that if I place an order of $20 or more, they will send me a free good will bush. It would look so pretty, tucked in between the peace and the harmony. Now if spring will just hurry up and arrive.

I’d better not wait, though. I will start these seeds right away. I’ll begin them inside, to give them—and myself—a good start on the New Year.


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