The ‘Good’ in Growing A Good Life

Jenn telling big stories. Photo © Marj Brady, 2012

by Jennifer Nash

The longer we eek–out an existence in the greenhouses, the more I am reminded we are not just local growers with a garden centre. I choose this path because I want to make a cup of tea in the morning, step–out my back door and go to work beside my family and pets. Apparently, I can be unconscious of the greater ‘good’ involved in growing a good life.

For my part, I look forward to neighbours popping–in and –out from Spring to Autumn. After hibernating for the winter, I’m ready to be social. Eddie will tell you, I can “talk, talk, talk”. He’ll also tell you it’s a darn good thing I “work, work, work” in equal measure. Be that as it may, I like to listen too; about weddings, newborns and grand–babies, surrogates, and your trips to visit grown children living around the globe. I especially like getting to know new ‘come from aways’ (to use a Newfie term) in our neck of the woods.

Just days ago I realized a visit to our diamond-in-the-rough for a chat has become a yearly ritual for some folks. Myrna G. dropped–in, but I didn’t recognize her at first. She’s lost 30 pounds and cut her hair short; and she was driving the truck. Oh no, where’s Don?

Tears welling–up in her eyes, Myrna unfolds the heart–wrenching and pain–filled story of how she lost Don over the winter. He had been in ill health for many years. They both have. But, they had each other for support.

Every Spring Don did his best to put–in some veggie plants. This Spring, Myrna couldn’t bring herself to drop–by until she knew she could talk to me without falling apart. She said, “he loved visiting with you”. I gather she meant the opportunity to banter about gardening. We’ll miss our chats with Don; a quiet man, inquisitive, and, as we came to understand over the years, a craftsman.

Myrna is gregarious and jocular, and by the end of our visit, we’re laughing at the life decisions that lay ahead of her. Abandoning vegetable gardening being one of them.

Weekly I serve a customer who only wants to shop and leave – zero pleasantries. These folks especially might want to ‘stop and smell the roses’… in my shrub section.

Happily, I’ve found most people want to belong to something. We belong, here; cup of tea in hand, alongside family and our four–legged staff.