A patch of marigolds decorates Marigold Drive, near my house on Apple Blossom Road. My neighborhood is pretty adorable in that way – all these nature-inspired street names.
I adore the marigolds. A family of duckling statues hover above in a bird bath. Walking past on the way to the community park makes my day. I lean out the window at the three-way stop as I’m driving to the grocery store. Hey, birdies.
The first year my husband and I lived here, I would tell guests to pass the marigolds, then turn left.
Time passed quickly. On my mid-October birthday, the gardener cut them down. One day they were there; the next day they were gone. Poof. I couldn’t believe it.
I reminisced about the patch with my friend Mary. “Why would you tear down something before it was dead?”
“Are you trying to make a point?” she posed.
“Well, no,” I laughed. “For once I’m only thinking about these flowers.”
So let’s get to the root of the issue. A deeper meaning lies beneath every gardening experience. In this case, the stone edging could not protect the plants from the impending frost. So why watch them wither?
This year I understand, the marigolds only have a month left. Shears will pierce their necks on a solemn autumn evening. Sunlight will touch upon their petals one last time. Perhaps the gardener will display vases of their beaming blossoms in her kitchen. Or they may return to the compost, from whence they came.
Lesson learned – sometimes it’s best to end something that’s already dying. Don’t wait for the brittle stems to catch the wind. Clip the life. Savor it indoors. Share a floral arrangement with a passerby. We plant annuals to share perpetual growth with our neighbors, not loss.
Gardening reminds me that these plant cycles are a part of human life. I embrace growth. Feeling motivated by like minds who do the same. Like those ducklings, let’s hover on the brink of positive change. Every day is an opportunity. Traveling along that path – that’s my Marigold Drive.