I remember working in the garden with my father. As a boy, it was hard to see beyond the seemingly unpleasant task at hand—the physical labor required get the job done. He often asked for my help in tilling the dirt at the beginning and end of the season, teaching me to plow deep and to stick with it. Though I often hesitated to start and sometimes complained about it, he would mindfully help me when and where I needed it, teaching me how to do it well, how to do it right. No matter how I felt about my progress, my father would put his arm around me and praise my work and my effort and tell me he was proud of me.
At the end of the season, Dad would select some of the grandest prizes from our harvest—large orange pumpkins and yellow squashes, corn and grapes, carrots and tomatoes—arranging them near the white picket fence in front of the garden. Then he would gather his five children together, arranging us neatly for a harvest photo. The lessons of the garden were important: where to step, how deep to place a seed, how hard to pack the dirt on top, how much to water, how to dig a good hole. But more importantly, I’m able to look back and sense my father’s influence in helping me feel confident planting the right seeds in my life or pulling the weeds that hindered my progress. I never doubted that my father wanted me out there with him. The work that my father shared with me tied us together in a way that has been a lasting source of strength and comfort in my life.
Today’s post and image are contributed by Seeing the Everyday magazine. Evan Crockett’s story was first published in Seeing the Everyday no. 26. For more information, go to seeingtheeveryday.com