My Garden Tis of Thee

Kathleen - Tolland, Connecticut
Entered on March 22, 2009

My Garden Tis of Thee

I believe that the metaphor of America as a melting pot no longer inspires us. The idea of everyone being melted down into a homogenous sameness seems somewhat sad. This forced idea of a blended United States of America is a lumpy pot indeed.

What not a garden?

I believe that the garden of the United States of America is a much more beautiful image!

A garden revels in different sizes of plants, different colors, different growing styles, different blooms times and shapes. All adds up to a glorious composition. Be the caretaker of a garden and you soon learn that some plants do betters at in some times and some in others. This can be refreshing. There is never a stale sameness to a garden. Next week, next month, next season, there is always something new to appreciate in a garden. Each plant is appreciated for it’s individual beauty and for it’s contribution to the garden.

As the child of an immigrant family I was not allowed to learn my grandparents native language. My husband, also a child of immigrant parents, tells the same story. Immigrants were afraid their children would have accents and not blend in with classmates in school. Even holiday celebrations and native foods were changed to reflect the new country and new neighbors. Their experience was sometimes harsh and they wanted their family to succeed in this county.

But I often wonder what was missed.

What was lost in translation to this new society.

What was given up to fit in?

In a healthy garden, even weeds add to the whole. They identify nutrient lack or overabundance, poor diligence on the part of the gardener, or provide an opportunity to work the soil. Weeds actually contribute to the health of the garden by showing it’s weaknesses or where it has gone wrong. Weeds provide opportunity for correction.

All of these work together.

I believe we can celebrate the cultures we have all come from without diminishing the beauty of what we have now. We can appreciate different cultures without sacrificing our own. Each group can be appreciated for their differences and their commonalities and their contribution to the whole.

I believe it’s hard to look upon a garden in bloom and not be uplifted.