I have a coffee cup on my desk at work, mass-produced in a line of Zen-inspired gift products. I received the cup as a gift, then I bought the greeting card, which I framed, and a journal, and a second coffee cup as a gift for a friend. They all say “A Garden is Never Finished” and this I believe.
When life gets a little dark, I can tell myself that all will be ok–my husband’s favorite coping mechanism is “everything will be All Right” and that’s what we’ve taught our kids to expect in life. No matter what, you cope and get through it, because there’s always SOMETHING that can be done to make it better. Not always easy, but life goes on.
On the flip side, when life seems like it couldn’t get any better, it actually can get better. You can use that good fortune, no matter how short-lived, to make life better in some way, for someone. It might be only the fact that you smiled at someone who desperately needed a smile, and you won’t even know what you did.
It’s such a simplistic phrase, a garden is never finished, but it stays in my mind because it’s a sentiment of hope, much like my husband’s classic “everything will be All Right”. I like to think that’s what will get our kids through the trials they will face as adults and young parents. We’ve always laughed at Dad’s “everything will be All Right” but it’s the optimism behind the statement that makes it so believable. What I love most about that sentiment is that he, as a father, has also given our kids permission to fail, as long as they pick themselves up.
So, no, a garden is never finished. When a flower dies, it leaves behind a nourishment for the soil and I think it’s the same as when events happen in our lives…there’s always a reason and something to learn. The phrase stays with me in work, in friendships, with family and gives me the push to try a little harder.
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