The Garden


It's spring and I haven't planted a garden in almost thirty years. I can, however, still smell the freshly turned topsoil from my childhood. After the plow and the harrow, the lot was ready. We made straight rows and dropped in the lettuce seeds, the corn, peas, beans and cantaloupes. We set the tomato plants. Then we waited. The weeds always sprouted first and grew faster, so it was my job the pull weeds. As the days became warmer in late May and early June I went into the garden, bare footed with a hoe. I knew the difference between the vegetable plants and the weeds. I was careful to hoe and pull weeds without damaging the good plants.

Well, that was a long time ago. Now I am a journalist and I am often vilified. I’m that guy with the wrinkled jacket and tie, standing in the back of the room at the city council meeting or nosing around at the traffic accident and the house fire with a camera phone and a note pad. Much of what I need to report is bad news! I’m the messenger, the bearer of tidings, sometimes good but mostly unpleasant.

Today the sun is shining. I have two columns on the front page with no typos. I’m on the street, walking to an interview with an honest politician, yes, maybe one of the last. I haven't thought about that garden for years but today, walking through the city, I can once again smell the earth and see weeds to be hoed or pulled so that the tender, green plants can sprout and grow with so much promise.

I hear someone calling my name and I look just in time to see a person I do not recognize, waving from a passing car.

04/05/2017 © Don Lehman