Come to my garden

I first noticed the chalk board as I made my way home from a long and sweaty walk one summer day.

Perched on a fence in front of one of our neighborhood’s loveliest gardens, it said, “Kind words can be easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”

I just loved that someone had been thoughtful enough to post a message like that for the world at large.

A few weeks later, I walked past the house again and noticed that the message had changed.

“Everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.”

From then on, wherever I walked, I made sure to circle past that house to read the messages posted there. Occasionally, I snapped a quick photo and, following that pitstop, I always finished my walk with a lighter step.

It felt good to see someone care enough to share a little love with the world, and to do it in a manner both simple and profound. Just a little colored chalk on a chalkboard and some earnest urging for civility and grace.

Yesterday, I biked over and met the artist, a friendly and talented gardener named Jean. She took me on a tour of her garden and it was exactly as I had hoped.

“See that tree over there?” she said. “It was dying, but I grew some vines over it and now you’d never know. You can grow things in the unlikeliest places.”

She and her next-door neighbor shared the common space between their two houses and worked together to turn it into something beautiful.

“We made a little bistro that we could enjoy together,” Jean said.

She let another neighbor pick out yesterday’s quote and the little girl added a sweet drawing of two friends to her choice. It read, “Make the most of every moment. It never come again.”

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The echoes of Jean’s kind words are still bouncing around the neighborhood more than a year after I saw this message.
I realized this was an evolving project when I saw the second message…and then I greeted everyone I met with a smile.
We all do better when we all do better.
Sometimes, I wandered past at night. “The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.”
An autumn message I loved: “Earthly possessions can be lost or destroyed, but nothing can take away the love we invest in each other.”
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
This was last week’s message, as selected by Jean’s little friend.
I caught Jean as she changed her garden message. Swing by this week and you’ll be advised to “Do something extremely well today.”
Jean and her neighbor turned the common land between their houses into a bistro.


5 thoughts on “Come to my garden

    1. I do too. Life lessons on a chalkboard. I think it’s pretty cool. Thanks for reading it!

  1. Always knew you were a special person. Wish we weren’t so far apart. I’ll always be grateful for your friendship.

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