Garden Meditation

ILLUSTRATION BY CATHERINE STRAUS
people gathered around a harvest

Let us give thanks for a bounty of people.

For children who are our second planting, and though they
grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may
they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where
their roots are.

Let us give thanks;

For generous friends . . . with hearts . . . and smiles as bright as
their blossoms;
For feisty friends, as tart as apples;

For continuous friends, who like scallions and cucumbers, keep
reminding us that we’ve had them;

For crotchety friends, sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;

For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants
and as elegant as a row of corn, and the others, as plain as potatoes and so good for you;

For funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and as
amusing as Jerusalem artichokes;

And serious friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as
summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as
endless as zucchini, and who, like parsnips, can be counted on to
see you through the winter;

For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the eveningtime and
young friends coming on as fast as radishes;

For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils and hold
us, despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;

And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past that
have been harvested, but who fed us in their times that we
might have life thereafter.

For all these, we give thanks.

Rev. Coots passed away in 2009. He was minister of the Canton, NY Unitarian Universalist Church for 34 years. He was “an inveterate punster, a poetic preacher, wise counselor, and general church handyman.” A visitor to the church once mistook him for the church custodian and was surprised to find him in the pulpit when she attended services the next Sunday.


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