Friday, May 16, 2014


Do you have an expression that fits to your core?

Mine is “What goes around, comes around.”  

I remember an event from my childhood that illustrates this saying so well.

Between our neighbor’s house and ours was an alley that was a fascinating place for me. On our side, I could sit on the edge of a small well that was one entrance to the crawlspace underneath our house. I used to find all kinds of interesting insects in that hole: potato bugs, banana slugs, black widow spiders, and stinkbugs. The coolness coming from under the house intrigued me (though not enough to pull back the screen so that I could crawl under).  On the other side of the alley, our neighbors had a wide patch of thriving ferns.

I couldn’t resist them either.  One day, I spent a very long time stripping every leaf off of every fern so that all that was left were the slender stakes.  Did I think I would get away with such mischief?  I didn’t even consider the consequences. It was just too much fun pulling those leaves through my fingers.

In our backyard now, we have a hill with redwoods towering over us.  Underneath them, the only plant that will consistently grow is the kind of fern from my childhood.  The ferns create a lush, verdant area in a hot, dry climate (one of the few fern forests our gardener has seen).  They are beautiful.


I think of that moment at my neighbor’s yard when I look at our ferns as I’m working in the yard. My neighbors were gardeners.  My punishment for stripping their ferns:  an hour’s worth of work in their garden -- an hour that woke up my lifelong love of gardening.  To me, the expression, “What goes around, comes around,” explains my passion completely.


Do you have a lasting expression?

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