Over the 23 years of living at Austin’s Acre, we’ve planted dozens of trees, flowers, bushes and grasses. Maples that we gathered from my sister-in-law’s forest, which were only five feet tall at the time, are now towering over our front lawn, casting shade in every direction. Daylilies and Iris that started as single bulbs have multiplied and divided, finding places in every corner of the garden. A few fern nodules “cultivated” from a family member’s fern bed have taken root and become one of the prettiest sections of the yard.
I am constantly reminded that the work we’ve done, the dirt under our nails, the thistle splinters in our fingers and the sweat on our brow has made it possible to enjoy the gardens today in a way that would never have been possible 23 years ago. I am also aware that living each day to its fullest does not preclude us from living in a way that benefits the future; whether it is our future or someone else’s. In fact, a full life should impact all those who follow.
I realize that there will be a day when we will shuffle off this mortal coil, or even worse, move to another house, leaving behind the setting that brings peace and joy each and every day. Given that reality, I find deep satisfaction knowing that I will be leaving this world a better place because of the work we’ve done in this small patch of earth.
The question is then raised how, in other areas of my life, have I committed the same level of care. As you think about your own life, have you tended the gardens of your family relationships? Have you multiplied love in your neighborhood? Have you nourished those in your world who struggle in the places they find themselves, offering extra attention to those who need it most so they will flourish and grow?
Each day gives us new opportunities. Each opportunity taken leads to a flowering relationship, a cultivated friendship, and a satisfying view that will last for years to come.