Posts Tagged ‘gardening’


I stole away the other afternoon…to convene with some memories made in the lighter months. I went to the home of a friend, a lover of sun and all things green that thrive in the sprinkler mist, sun showers, and morning dew.
There were none of those things there to greet me. Just a benign winter sun, giving light without heat and a breeze not to offer relief from heat. But it did deliver a chill and need to face my back to it.
And there was the walk of cobblestones with surf smoothed bits of colored glass, pebble, and shell in between. We had wandered the shore on serene afternoons with a dream and design in mind, that beckoned us to U.S. 101 and beaches to the south.

And on this day of frost and fading light…I was again wandering in brine soaked sand with the surf in my ears, and gulls hovering and singing their shoreline declarations in the steady breeze. And out of habit, I reached for that familiar hand to hold…and instead found but a memory. Ah, but such memories are so worth embracing and recalling time and again.

frosty cone

Over half way through January and the daylight gets longer with each dawn. I see through the shadows and bare branches that the crow still feeds, the squirrel sleeps, and the critters in pasture huddle near to each other. And today I stand near to the place where the spring roses go to bud, the bulbs slowly reach, and the robin seeks a place of safety to fashion a nest…but this is all months away. For now I’ll unwrap a few saved moments and memories as I stand in the midst of this slumbered and treasured place…the fond things I’ve saved up for a rainy day. It’s not quite raining yet, but those ominous clouds are sign that a stormy evening is on the way…

It’s all good and it’s alright, for I know that the green is on the way…I saw winter wheat decorating a brown field just the other day. And a hawk was on the wing, in search of company, of a meal on the run. In search of a warm breeze, should the western gorge send a sweet Chinook stirring this way…And you can be sure that I too will turn my cheek to the sun then, and let a window down enough to feel a hint of spring on a winter’s day.

And I know you’ll occasionally look upon the hoses for watering, and tools for tilling and turning and planting of starts, seeds, bulb and the promising bare stem…And like a prayer uttered, we look on longingly and fondly, and busy ourselves while we hope and wait. God will answer, and winter will always be followed with spring.

With the gathering of fog on the rivers near to here, I listen to the chorus from a V of Canada geese passing overhead.


And I know you rest assured by a faded rose hanging in the place near the book shelf, and over the mirror in your room. And know the gloves and watering can are eagerly awaiting your touch, as you anticipate that day as well. For now, I will wander near to the places there on a quiet afternoon, where nature and your knowing hands will soon provide me blossom, bud, gifts of new green, and heavenly scented blooms.

Matthew Landsman



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In the final throes of winter, especially this year when the infant spring is rather meek to emerge and take on the starkness of the naked branches, dormant fields and garden plots…The bulbs of fall and volunteer annuals are still evading the frost, and buds are hesitant and not about to swell as naive fools to fall victim to a killing frost.

But then and now I have had my own constant gardener, Glenda, to remind me that warmer dawns and greener views are but a Chinook breeze away. She’ll prepare to soften stiffened gloves and winter born visions of her patch of heaven on God’s green earth. And that dark earth waits with eager anticipation the attentions and loving intentions from her knowing hands.

There will be dirtied knees, hoses unfurled, spots of shade for those things that thrive in darkened corners, heartier varieties for the blossoms that can weather the midday sun. She knows these things, how to create a place of refuge and retreat there on that plot of earth bordering the canal that brings life to the desert.

No matter where I’ve roamed on this continent, I have passed nurseries and flower beds, trees for privacy and trees for shade. And for over two decades, the petals, freshly nurtured earth and shades of blue have always brought a glad feeling and reassurance that she remains. That spring will always closely follow the barren months. That hope is rarely lost even when the night is far longer than the day…

I seek shelter in the knowing that if I chance to pass her way there even just in my mind, there will be a potential for glimpses of April blossoms, hints of summer evening scents, and the essence of cool grass between toes, even in the dead of January when life has ebbed nearly into only memory. I’ll always find my gardener, and I hope when she is in need of love of a friend and words from her personal writer, that she’ll always find me…Matthew Landsman

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It’s quiet here on a winter night. The frost makes no noise, short of the sound of icy grass under feet.  I have to be honest, I miss the sounds the winds makes during the seasons that hold life above the ground. I long for the rustling of leaves in the sycamores, for the soft moan of things when a stiff breeze finds me here from its birth out on the warm Pacific.
I am the soil outside your door…the earth beneath your feet that keeps you grounded.  It has been so long since the first frost descended and turned dew to something that held a promise of a long winter…of time away from your tending hands, your steady tilling. It has been months since blossom faded to wilt and fell…then joined me here and became what I am…and waited for your return.

I am earth, and you are my caregiver, my tender, my partner in life and the giving of life to bulb, root and seed. After the dark months, during which I become hard, dry, barren, you come to me with fork, blade, hoe, and simple hands. You tend me, till me, turn and blend me. You soften my disposition after winter’s abandon left me impenetrable. You give me air, water, and plants to embrace. You give me your attentions, your efforts and heartfelt nurture. And I in return will be the giver of blossom and fragrance, green leaves, stem, branch, and bough.

I await the gardener, the lover of life…of inspiration… and seeker of distraction from life beyond the confines of property lines, flower bed and shade ‘neath the mantle of green.

I cling on occasion to the soles of your feet, to the nurturing hands…for an extended moment of the partnership between you and me. I am the earth, the soil you tend.  I am your refuge…your reward for all you do, and in return, you are my reward. It isn’t about harvest or show. It’s about doing what’s right to bring life to the soul, to the heart, to the sight and senses.

You are the gardener that will soon awaken me from slumber, loosen me up and give me life to bring along.

And you are Matthew’s constant gardener too, as you tend to his need for a place to sit and seek the quiet…the balance here in the mist and the midst of a town growing older. The two of you, not yet old, but no longer young…can use the cool of me beneath your feet…the lily of the valley, song of the mourning dove, and late evening’s breeze. We are all partners in the struggle, the turning of seasons year after year…and each other’s reward for returning to what is pure, validating, and grateful…perfect as only the bond between a patch of earth, a garden, a gardener, and a grateful visitor can be…

Matthew Landsman

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