Killaloe – This past Sunday six local gardens were opened to the public as part of the Madawaska Valley Gardening Club’s annual garden tour. This event was about more than just flowers and vegetables growing in people’s yards. Although as you will read, and see from the photos, there were some stunning ones on display which had been nurtured by loving gardeners.
This event was about growth.
It was the first event I had attended in what seemed like a very, very long time. It proved to be even more significant to me than I could have expected it would.
Feeling a bit like a crushed daisy who had been stepped on by a size ten workbook I showed up at the first garden. It was a pleasant surprise to be greeted warmly by Melissa Jantunen. When I told her that I was with The Valley Gazette, she welcomed me even more enthusiastically.
Wild flowers are remarkably resilient and even when they are stepped on ruthlessly by careless humans they can sometimes rebound. Melissa’s wiliness to tour me through her garden made me glad I showed up to cover this event.
A little while later as Melissa excused herself to welcome another person to the tour, I encountered another reader. It took me a moment to recognize her but she too greeted me with enthusiasm, and words of encouragement that I sucked up like a sponge. We spoke about the business she had recently sold and about what the future might potentially hold for her and her family.
She, her husband and her son looked like happy thriving humans enjoying some family time outdoors in a garden. That’s probably because that is exactly what they were. As grateful as I was to receive her kind words, I was also grateful to see a local family thriving. There is so much emphasis on the problems many people are facing today that their mere presence in that garden served as a solid reminder that even while many people have difficult challenges ahead of them, there are still many in our communities for whom the past year and half has been a time of renewal and growth. It is not that they are completely without challenges, it is that they are well-equipped to face them and that they are living in a community that has in many ways grown stronger, wiser and more resilient over the past many months.
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