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The Cufflinked Gardener

credit: Ronny Satzke

credit: Ronny Satzke


Today I stopped to talk with someone I see once in a while. He is a private banker for wealthy folks. He is a very smooth, polished sort of fellow. I suppose because of this I had formed a certain impression and made assumptions.

Predictably, the conversation turned to the foot of snow we received yesterday. But then it surprised me. He spoke with delight about the boost in our snowpack and his passion for gardening. He talked about how his immigrant parents loved to garden together and how he was raised with a love for dirt and growing things. Now he wants to pass this on to his children.

I was struck by how readily he expressed his craving for the tangible, sensory world of nature. How he loves to be in the physicality of working in the garden, being in his body, and the sense of teamwork he feels with his wife. He talked wistfully about how he spends his days staring at a screen and manipulating figures when he would rather be doing something real. And he longs for this for his children.

I made assumptions about the tie and shiny cufflinks. And the lesson in being wrong about this man makes me feel very hopeful. Perhaps I can entertain the idea that everyone I come across might be like this man: Ready to be delighted by the real. Longing to be in the body, participating in the aliveness of nature, sharing a sense of mutuality and fulfillment. Longing to root and rise and transmute light, like our leafy elders. Maybe we are not so far away from this afterall.

Perhaps I can revise my assumptions, and start to see this seed in everyone.




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