The Gardener

There once was an elderly gardener who loved nature. She spent much of her time outside her tiny cottage, tending a beautiful garden filled with many colours, shapes, and sizes of plants and flowers. There was one part of the garden, however, right in the very centre, which did not easily yield growth.

According to others, it made the garden ugly and ruined an otherwise picturesque scene. Some people even suggested that the gardener move to another location of more fruitful soil so that she could create the perfect garden.

The elderly gardener never said a word in reply. She simply knelt down beside the stubborn patch of dirt in the centre of the garden she loved so much, and patiently worked at the earth. All summer she followed a steady routine: add fertilizer, aerate the soil, plant, water, protect, and wait.

Finally, near the end of the summer, some tiny sprouts broke their way through the soil to the surface. After a few weeks, a sizeable array of shoots was making their way through the soil, and although they were not as strong as the others, they blended beautifully with the rest of the garden, adding to the richness of variety.

Visitors marvelled at the achievement, questioning its plausibility. After all, that patch of soil had clearly been deficient; everyone had seen that.

This elderly gardener, dear readers, was not a miracle worker. Her secret was that she cared enough to try?and she steadfastly believed in succeeding.

Teachers are much like this gardener, patiently working with a child’s capacity to learn much like a gardener works with the soil. Knowing that every child has the capacity to learn?although some accomplish the task more readily than others?teachers lovingly work with the mind and plant the seeds of knowledge.

Under the right care, though not necessarily at the same time, seeds take root and grow. While plants are rarely the same in strength or size, they are all something beautiful to experience, especially when they are commingled in a garden.

Gardens, like classrooms, can be found everywhere. They can be planned and grown in a particular location (like a school) or can grow untamed at the playground. Moreover, gardens do not follow a specific formula. No one ever knows what they will ultimately look like; not exactly, anyhow.

There is no magic number, no special pattern, which will make one garden more beautiful than another. Gardeners do not ultimately control the growth of their plants and flowers. They do not have the capacity to ?make a tree.? However, their gentle tending greatly influences the arrangement and robustness of the outcome.