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Thursday, September 16, 2004

She was gardening too 

I was watching the news yesterday, as I'm sure most people were, trying to learn where Hurricane Ivan was going to hit. I can't tell you the sense of relief so many of us on the southern Gulf coast of Florida felt when we realized that Ivan was not coming to vist. But, of course, the feeling of guilt for those who were going to have to deal with him was just as great. So we sat and hoped for the best as we were glued to the TV waiting for news.

There was a lot of speculation around New Orleans and how much devastation the city would deal with if Ivan hit full on. Even if he brushed by, with the city under sea level it would be almost certain that flooding would be great. With that continued story, members of the media were everywhere in that area talking with residents and asking them what they would do.

Along about 6 PM, a senior New Orleans resident was profiled and discussed with the reporter what her fate might be. The woman talked about how her husband had rope and life jackets in their attic so that if they needed to escape through their attic window, in the event of flooding, they would be prepared. Here's what struck me about her. Not only was she as calm as I've seen anyone when discussing the possible impact of an impending storm, she was gardening. Yes, she was gardening. She had her garden gloves on and was in process of using her hand trowel to remove weeds when the reporter approached her. This lady was just going on about her business, doing what she enjoyed, and making sure every weed in her front garden was pulled. So the question is, was this her way of dealing with stress or was she just so unconcerned or accepting about what may come that she went on with her daily routine? I don't know the answer to the question but I do know this. There is definitely something soothing about gardening. It connects a person with the beauty of the garden and the wonder of nature. Am I preaching? Maybe. But when I saw her continuing to garden as the reporter asked what she would do if the storm hit, I felt a sense of connection. I had been in her shoes, sans the reporter, and had done the same thing. Although I thought I was the only one, it is so obvious now that I'm not. Gardening parallels meditation with all its benefits. I joke often about the zen of gardening, but it truly exists. There is a beauty and serenity that one has to experience to understand. Happy Gardening and I hope our friend and her family in New Orleans are safe tonight.

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