Not quite so hard to answer as the question about babies, but it was surprising how many of the adults at our recent South Laguna Community Garden workshop were amazed when we handed them an asparagus spear and said we had just cut it. “From where?” “It’s a sprout that grows right out of the ground,” we tried to explain. But they couldn’t picture it. We had to take them right to the asparagus bed and replace the spear on top of the cut stump to show how it had once been growing.
“And this is what it looks like if you let the asparagus grow,” we pointed to the big ferny branch. We chomped on just-cut spears, so tender and fresh. “It’s not like any asparagus I have ever eaten before. Can I have one to take home to my husband? He should taste this!” A gift from the earth, with the help of some earnest gardeners.
This past weekend I flew to Chicago for my cousin’s memorial service while Alfredo drove to Arizona to see his brother, hospitalized with a heart attack. He just called to say, “We’ve lost him.” There will be another service in a few days. And Hobie’s service and paddle-out this week. These respected people will be gone, at least in the form we are used to seeing. What will be left are the models of integrity, the paths they have made for us to travel on a little longer.
Did they focus on winning the argument? Did they try to get a neighbor to change his ways by pressuring him? Were they manipulating and scheming to get advantage, or build more wealth?
Not these people. Instead, their own life’s purpose was the driver, so much to do, so much exciting and good to accomplish.
So many gifts to give, so little time.
Asparagus and love.
Landscape architect Ann Christoph served on the City Council in the ‘90s.