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March 4, 2004
This is the first soak of spring rain. It is a different rain than the discouraging rains of winter: soft somehow, and gracious

Things under the ground are already pretty exciting, but these rains will call more and more to the surface. Every day there will be something new. I will visit every morning I am home. And every time I return from travel, I will visit. My, how you've grown, I will say to this or that plant in the garden. They won't reply. Too busy.

This year I am not buying scores of new dahlia tubers or any new roses. I'm going to see what the garden has done with what's already there. Move some things, maybe. Maybe move the roses from the front garden to the side, where they can climb up the house. We'll see what Q thinks. But this is a year to step back and take a look.

What are you planning for your travel? Anna asks. Have you given some thought to how you're going to stay okay? Anna should be a shrink.

I have lots of travel in the months to come. Maybe too much. We talk about getting picked up at airports instead of taking the train. Maybe. About finding places in which to exercise and remember by sneakers. About asserting my need to be left alone when I have that need. About being watchful for signs of depression. About being willing to change my plans if I need to.

The garden does all that. Doesn't do a thing before it has the power to do it. Doesn't try to grow things in the wrong place, with the wrong soil, with the wrong light. The garden takes its cue from what really is, not from someone's overheated imagination of what might be. Gardens have no imagination. Plants are pure act, absolute common sense. Gardens just do it.

But I sense more from them. Love, and a joy in being beautiful, in being able to be fully everything they can be. Each rose delights in its own loveliness, I am certain, but each common marigold knows itself to be just as much a queen as the rose. Never longs to be something other than what it is. Never feels awkward or inferior. Never worries about fitting in. Happily accepts the rain and then lifts its head to the sun.

Consider them. They toil not, neither do they spin.
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