The death of a dahlia was a blow to me, this ugly tuber I had nursed and planted, watered and encouraged had finally made it to a decent size plant which I replanted, from a pot into the garden bed.
I watered it every day. I imagined beautiful blooms I’d pick and place on my table.
I don’t find dahlias easy, they can be temperamental. I’ve been to nurseries, asked questions, carefully pulled the tubers up in the fall and tried… to store them properly. They looked rather sad this spring, and I went out and bought more.
But I had hope in this one, it was one who had survived in spite of me. One day recently I caught the neighbour’s cat in my garden, near the dahlia. I scared her away, and placed new barriers for intruders.
But cats are persistent. And I find it very discouraging that they have no regard for the money I spend on soil, and seeds, and plants, but view my territory as their personal toilet.
I like cats. But not in my garden.
So two days ago I went out for my evening inspection only to find a great hole…. And the dahlia completely pulled out, lying like some forlorn skeleton, never to grow again.
And I had to ask myself, why am I so mad?
I had invested in that precious plant, only to have my efforts disregarded. Really I know the cat doesn’t care, I’m not sure the neighbours would even understand.
Life is like that, we have to keep trying, investing, nurturing, loving. Not just in plants, but in people, in creation, in our communities.
And sometimes there is devastating losses, like the fire that claimed multiple businesses this week. Right now it looks suspicious. And we ask, who would do something like that? It can make us crazy, and I know it saddens me very much.
And yet life is complicated, some people are compromised and mentally ill, although that doesn’t excuse them from doing harm. How do we respond?
Yesterday I was back in the garden, and was surprised to find a flower blooming.. a climbing morning glory which came up as a volunteer. I actually thought it was a bean plant, and I had even given it a pole for support.
It spoke to me.
I know I can’t live life as if entitled, I need to hold things loosely, to let go.
And then these lovely unexpected surprises come our way and it is a lovely gift.
I learn a lot from my garden. Even though I am sad about the death of my dahlia.