‘Why won’t you come with me to the garden?’ His grandfather had asked him. He was visiting his grandparents with his sister for the weekend. They were drinking apple juice together. They had just finished a game of Rummikub.
‘Of course, I wanna come!’ The boy said excitingly. His sister joined in with his excitement.
‘Great! Let’s go then.’ Their grandfather said, smiling at his beautiful wife. They had been together for years. The time of raising their kids had passed, but now came the beautiful new adventure of spending time with their grandkids.
The time of raising their kids had passed, but now came the beautiful new adventure of spending time with their grandkids.
The boy loved coming to the gardens. He could smell all the herbs and fresh vegetables. The rosemary, mint, basil all grew gently on the side of the little pathway. The kale, carrots, and apple trees filled the rest of the small patch of land. In the back was a small shack, with a bathtub next to it.
The bathtub was filled with water, that had poured down from the skies the night before. There was a small bench, just enough to fit the three of them. After feeding all the plants, and grabbing some of the herbs and grown vegetables their grandfather sat down on the bench. The boy and his sister joined him.
The boy hopped onto the bench, whilst his grandfather helped his sister up. All three of them smiled. Life was good. Simple. It all just happened naturally.
As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the color & fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world. ~ Buddha
No Force Needed
‘Grandpa’ The boy’s sister began. ‘How come you are so calm when you are here? And why aren’t mom and dad spending more time here? They always seem so rushed, and stressed out?’ She asked all of a sudden. A child’s observations of the world can be rather direct and accurate. Nothing holds them back in seeing reality, they always seem to point out the obvious that no one seems to notice.
Their grandpa smiled. ‘That’s a great question, my dear.’ He said. He thought for a moment. He was taken by surprise by this question.
‘You see that bee, my child?’ He then asked.
‘Yes, it’s beautiful.’ She answered as the bee landed on the blossom of an apple tree.
‘Do you think the bee is smart?’ Grandpa asked.
‘Yes. It can fly, and we can’t. Doesn’t that make him smart, grandpa?’ The girl answered.
‘You are right. But flying isn’t the only thing the bee does that makes him smart.’
’Don’t they make sure that plants can grow too, grandpa?’ The boy interrupted.
‘Yes, they do. Bees are beautiful, smart creatures. They make sure plants can grow and spread. Without the bees, little of these plants, we see in this garden would grow.’ Grandpa said.
‘But what does the bee have to do with mom and dad?’ The boy asked.
‘That’s a great question.’ The grandfather replied as he placed his hand on the boy’s shoulders.
‘Does the bee seems rushed to you? Does it seem disturbed or pushed?’ Their grandfather asked, whilst they were still mesmerized by the presence of the bee.
‘No.’ The kids answered at the same time.
‘It doesn’t, does it?’ Grandpa continued. ‘That is because the bee doesn’t try to force what it wants onto the plants. You see, the bee comes to these plants to get nectar, yet it does so with fine detail. Making sure that all those beautiful flowers you see don’t get crushed or broken. And so did we, didn’t we?’ The grandfather asked. The kids didn’t answer.
‘We didn’t harm any of the plants, did we? We watered them, made sure they were all nice and healthy. We didn’t disturb them, or rush through it did we?’
‘Why would we?’ The boy asked. ‘I love being here, so why would I want to do it as quickly as possible?’
‘Well my young boy, that’s the question most people never ask themselves. It is why your parents aren’t as calm as we are.’ The grandfather answered.
‘I love being here, so why would I want to do it as quickly as possible?’
‘But why can’t they be?’ The little girl asked.
‘I never said they couldn’t’ the grandfather said with a bright smile of faith on his face. ‘They can live calm and peacefully just like us and that little bee over there. It’s just how we choose to go through our little lives.’ The grandfather took a deep breath, leaning back into the bench, looking out over his small patch of joy-filled garden.
‘Most people nowadays are worried about their success, about money, and having everything under control. But do you think the bee or the tree has control over its life?’ The grandfather asked.
‘No, sometimes the plants can’t grow because there is no water. And sometimes the bees can’t find any flowers to feed on because there aren’t any. The tree can’t rain on itself, and the bee can’t grow flowers himself, it would be really silly.’ The girl said, and she began laughing. The boy and his grandfather joined in with her.
‘You are right my dear, they can’t. Yet we humans always believe we can control everything and should control everything. Like we are the masters over this planet. But, kids, when we look closely we see that without the bees we wouldn’t be alive, or without the trees, we wouldn’t be breathing. It all magically works together.’
‘MAGIC!’ The young girl said excitedly.
‘So is the world full of magic?’ She asked.
‘Oh yes, it is my dear. Not the magic that you read in books, but the magic that’s far more beautiful. It’s the magic of life just happening, and all the beautiful flowers, birds, people animals, and living things just seem to wander on this little planet of ours. Now that’s real magic, my love.’ The grandfather said.
‘We shouldn’t force our will onto life. It’s beautiful as it is isn’t it?’ He asked.
‘Oh yes, grandpa. I love being here!’ The boy said kindly. ‘I love playing in the garden and seeing all these beautiful plants. I love watering the plants, they seem so happy when I do!’ The boy said.
‘And they are because you help them grow.’ Grandpa said and smiled.
Life follows cycles like the weather, know what season of life you are in and honor it.
The Season of Your Life
‘But grandpa, what if we aren’t here, and there is no rain? Won’t the plants die? I don’t want the plants to die! I don’t ever want them to die, or to be sad, or to be angry. Grandpa, what will happen if I don’t come to help the plants?’ The girl asked with tears in her eyes.
‘Why don’t you want the plants to die?’ Grandpa asked.
‘They are so beautiful, and I don’t want anyone to die. Isn’t dying painful?’ The girl asks.
‘I DON’T WANT MOM AND DAD TO DIE!’ She all of a sudden screams and starts crying.
‘It’s okay girl, come here.’ Grandpa says. She jumps off the bench and jumps onto her grandfather’s lap.
‘Dying isn’t something bad.’ Grandpa says.
‘It isn’t?’ The girl asks and stops crying. ‘Why not?’ She adds whilst wiping away her tears.
‘Because dying is part of life’s seasons. Just like the weather.’ Grandpa answers.
‘Is life just like winter, and summer, and spring?’ The boy asks.
‘Yes, it is boy. Life knows its seasons too. So which one of the seasons do you think dying belongs to?’ The grandfather asks.
‘Winter?’ The girl says questionably.
‘That’s right. But do you also know what season comes after winter?’ Grandfather looks at the girl.
‘Yes grandpa, spring does!’ She answers with a bright smile on her face.
‘Exactly. And what happens in spring?’ He asks
‘New plants grow, and new lambs are born. I love lambs!’ The boy says.
‘You don’t have to be scared of death my love, because just like the weather things die, and things are born.’ The grandfather looks at the kids seeing if they understand this.
‘The seasons like winter and spring are part of your life too.’ He adds.
‘How grandpa? I don’t become cold or rainy right?’ Grandpa laughs.
‘No, you don’t. But you do have seasons in which you don’t feel so great, and parts of your life where you’ll feel really good. Like just now you felt great, and then you had to cry, but now you are feeling better right?’ Grandpa says.
‘Oh yes!’ The girl says excitingly.
‘I am just like the weather!’ She screams happily and jumps off grandpa’s lap dancing around in the middle of the small pathway.
‘You are.’ Grandpa says.
‘But grandpa,’ the boys started. ‘Does that mean we all die?’
‘Yes, we do boy. But there is nothing wrong with that. You see all these seasons they have a reason. They bring something beautiful to our lives, and so does death. You the bee we just saw, it will die one day, but because it dies some other animal can eat it, like a spider.’
‘Euhhww’ the girl screamed. They all laughed.
‘But without the bee, the spider wouldn’t have anything to eat. You see kids, we should learn to live with the seasons of our lives. Just like the trees, and the plants do. Sometimes we don’t feel so great, and that’s just fine. If we can learn to live with that soon you’ll feel better. It’s just like one day it rains and the other the sun will come out.’
‘I am the sun!’ The girl screams spreading her arms and spinning in circles. The grandfather smiles.
For now, remember this. Even though you don’t have what you want right now, keep your heart open anyway. Later, you’ll see more. You’ll see how it worked out. How it needed to be just so. ~ Melody Beattie
There is a Time for Everything
‘Kids it’s time we go back to grandma. Shall we?’ Grandpa said.
‘Nooo! I don’t want to go back, I love it here.’ The boy says.
‘I know boy, it’s beautiful here. But we need to go back, if we don’t this garden will not be so much fun to go to.’ Grandpa says.
‘Why? I think I will always love it here.’ The boy answers.
‘It is only because you don’t come here all day long that this garden will remain special. You shouldn’t always have what you want, your life would be boring young man.’ Grandpa said as he rubbed the boy on his head.
‘Why not?’ The boy wasn’t content with grandpa’s answer.
‘Well because things always go together. Like the rain and the sun. If it would only rain it wouldn’t be fun right? But what if only the sun would shine, that wouldn’t be fun either right?’ Grandpa asked.
‘Why?’ The boy replied.
‘Because if the sun would shine all day the plants wouldn’t have any water, and they would dry out. It is because the sun and the rain come and go that this beautiful garden can grow and flourish. There is a time for everything my young boy. And right now is the time to leave, and enjoy our ride back home shall we?’
‘And tell grandma all the beautiful stories you told us!’ The girl interrupted.
‘Yes, she would love that!’ Grandpa said with a twinkle of love in his eyes.
‘Shall we go then?’ Grandpa asked, looking at the boy.
‘Yes, I hope we can make an apple pie with grandma from the apples we grabbed from the tree!’ The boy said excitingly.
‘I think you will!’ Grandpa said and winked.
If it would only rain it wouldn’t be fun right? But what if only the sun would shine, that wouldn’t be fun either right?
Everything Has a Plan
Everything in this world has a plan. You see this story isn’t any special. It’s just one of the many stories in each of our lives that hold wisdom and lessons. Understanding ourselves, and our lives happen in each moment. In the memories, we hold in our minds, in the moments that happen right now, in the emotions we feel.
It is because life is happening that there is beauty, and I feel like we are missing this beauty by controlling the way we want life to go. I did so for many years. Trying to control the outcome of my life, the way I felt, my thoughts, and everything I could control. But I remembered the moments with my grandpa, the moment when I was little and had no worries.
It was at this time that I understood that life unfolds naturally. We don’t have to force our way onto life or harm anything to live a good life. Neither do we have to always get what we want. Sometimes our biggest blessings are the moments we don’t get something. All of life knows seasons and it is those seasons that we should embrace.
So listen to your heart, and see the wisdom in it. I believe that these three pieces of advice will help you in your journey through life, in understanding yourself, and falling in love with living each day again. For today you live! Make the most of it.