Monday, August 16, 2010


Walking through the neighborhood, I noticed a man watering his lawn by hand. He seemed to be enjoying the simple pleasure of caring for the grass. Most of the neighbors have automatic sprinklers and garage door openers. They busily go from work to home. We see only glimpses of them pulling into their driveways or checking the mail.

Before I went out for a walk, I was watering the vegetable garden by hand. I was thinking, as I often do, about how watering is a form of nurturing. The water gives nourishment, refreshment, and life to the plants. Although watering can be refreshing, I water by hand because we don't have an automatic drip system yet. I squeeze in some hand watering in the morning between my walk and my work. Watering at random times in the morning, I put it off until it is almost too warm. It is an important responsibility that can't be missed, but isn't always enjoyed. On the other hand, there are mornings when I relax, look for vegetables, and enjoy the spray coming from the nozzle of the hose. When I take time to enjoy the simple pleasures, I actually enjoy watering. Often I just don't take time.

Tending to relationships is not so different from tending the yard or the garden. Some people enjoy the companionship of friends, family, and children while others find taking time for relationships an important chore to fit in the schedule. Others get so busy they put their relationships on automatic and just check occasionally to make sure the system is operating correctly. It's too easy to put relationships on automatic until we have time to get to them.

This afternoon I walked around the zoo with my daughter and 4 month old grandson. We watched the animals, listened to the birds, and watched the baby's lips curl into a smile for no reason except that I smiled at him. He won't remember the trip to the zoo, but he'll know his Nona. We are developing a lasting relationship. Like watering the seeds in the spring, nurturing relationships takes constant attention to mature.

Walk outdoors, take time for relationships, and enjoy the simple pleasures.

20 minutes walking

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