The alarm doesn’t need to wake me. Instead, the sound of the surf and a tiny click click click alerts me to the fact that I want to be awake now.
Time to tend to my garden.
I quickly dress, splash warm water on my face, drink a tall glass of water, and wander to the deck that overlooks the wide green lawn in front of me and the ocean beyond. I don’t focus on the midnight blue waves rolling in and out, nor on the way the surf becomes jade green as the sun slowly rises in the East.
Instead, I search for the click click click. Ah, there he is. Mr. Lee, on the lawn, snipping off tiny branches almost invisible to the eye, particularly to my eyes up here on the third floor deck. But the elderly man, hunched over permanently, bends down time after time to pick up errant palm leaves and small twigs that succumbed to the night’s tropical breezes.
Mr. Lee is the head gardener of this small resort we call “home” for a short while. My guy and I escape the New England cold by traveling here annually to warm our bones. Each year, we herald the beauty of the landscaping, thanks to Mr. Lee’s long-time care. The staff claim he’s “been here forever” and has won many awards for his landscaping prowess.
Without even asking the octogenarian, I know that the awards mean nothing to him.
I breathe in the ocean air and move over to my writing pad and pen. My back hunches over as my fingers fling out words, pulling out the twigs that are useless, cleaning up the grammar, smiling when a particular phrase smells as sweet as a flower.
May we all tend to our garden, whatever it may be, as lovingly and persistently as Mr. Lee.