I love gardening. I’m not sure if it’s the sheer pleasure of tossing rich black dirt from one place to another, the satisfaction of covering each pin-head sized seed with the nutrient-filled soil, or knowing (hoping really) that the plants will produce bright, luscious green and red fruit.
My Grandaddy, Jack, is a master gardener. He is the reason I enjoy gardening. Grandaddy doesn’t have a certification in the traditional sense, but he could write the test.
I remember visiting his home as a child and picking red ripe strawberries from the textured rows of strawberry plants that seemed to stretch for miles. Those were special times.
Still to this day, my family meets to eat crowder peas shucked from their uniquely reddish-purple and green colored pods, plump red tomatoes, sweet and juicy watermelon, among other treasures from my grandpa’s garden. All of these tasty treats are prepared by my Nanny – a master gardener and chef in her right!
Gardening is a great pleasure and responsibility.
Gardening is an excellent metaphor for some of life’s biggest responsibilities – raising children, working hard, and creating art all come to mind.
I consistently think of the great responsibility I have to impart good things into my two little girls, Abby and Emma. They are the pride and joy of my life, and it is my job as their father to make sure that they’re receiving the proper nourishment to sustain them in this life as they grow into beautiful young women.
I take my role as a father seriously.
I take my role as a composer seriously.
I deeply desire to create music that heals, teaches, inspires, and points to the beauty of creation that surrounds us. I have to show up consistently to the drafting table. To take a day off means to risk missing an opportunity to connect with someone and affect their life in a positive way.
Grandaddy fed and watered his plants well. He’d be the first to tell you that raising two little girls on a paper mill worker’s salary in the 1960s and 1970s was no walk in the park. He and my Nanny persevered and raised two wonderful women, my mother, Lisa Owenby, and my aunt, Gina Wright-Pack.
It’s been a rough year for Grandaddy. Just one year ago he was diagnosed with cancer. He’s remained strong facing multiple surgeries and other forms of treatment. I’m happy to report that he is beating the ugly disease. Grandaddy has a strong soul! His will to live and continue his legacy as a master gardener (on so many levels) is solid.
The world needs good fathers and mothers willing to love and have a positive influence on their children. The world needs good artists willing to show up and create a significant and meaningful body of work that inspires positive change in others. The world needs teachers willing to impart knowledge to the next generation. The world needs people unashamed to love strangers.
The world needs you.
What seeds are you planting and nurturing that you look forward to seeing produce fruit?