There is a garden in every childhood,
an enchanted place where colors are brighter,
the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.
Somewhere in the first few moments of morning....when the coffee tastes the strongest, the air smells the sweetest, the fog curls along the edges of the bean fields in wisps, and the sun begins its journey to the top....there lies a garden that I used to walk in. When I"m quiet...before the neighbors dog begins his morning hellos..before the robins start their bickering...I can hear the laughter of that young girl and her three brothers, ...feel the rich, black earth on my bare feet, and smell the cherries, ripe for picking...hanging low and full of juice. This was an enchanted garden indeed....a lush, green paradise filled with cherries and peaches and blueberries and strawberries and gooseberries. A garden full of corn and squash and potatoes and melons.......and a Grandfather that believed all his grandchildren should learn to grow what they ate. We spent many hot summer mornings in that garden....two city lots, tilled and plowed and planted by hand. A short walk to Grandpa's house, then a six block drive in his old Desoto with the coolest running boards. We'd wear wide brimmed straw hats, and laugh as Grandma slipped on her homemade coolots (it was years yet before women wore anything but dresses!). We learned to plant and weed, to hoe and dig and pick and husk. We played "king of the mountain" on a huge compost pile....and shared ice cold water from an old tin cup. Four sets of fruit stained fingers , that sometimes ate more than they harvested....but always filled the soft, summer mornings with laughter...and lessons...and love. Each year, as we dig and plant our garden, I wander back to the gardens of my youth...and am reminded that every child needs the simple joys found in their own enchanted garden.