I spent time in the garden this weekend, doing work that keeps my hands busy and allows my mind to wander. Gardening has taught me much, both literally and metaphorically, not the least of which are a respect for rhythms and cycles, an awareness of my place (sometimes small) in any growth process, and patience.
There are many things that, I hope, have helped me to be a better teacher now than I was two decades ago. At the top of the list is becoming a parent; a close second is being a gardener. The beauty of the garden I have in the late spring and into the fall takes a lot of hard work, much of which is never seen by anyone. The seemingly endless pulling of weeds, the inability to predict weather patterns, the various annoying (at least to the gardener) bugs, and the complete unpredictability of it all don't bring much joy. But, oh, the finished product. It's the finished product--the flowers in full and glorious bloom--that make it all worth while.