Looking to Plant a Garden

Let my words captivate
A little prayer offered to the wind
Land, find purchase and germinate
Into fertile soil the roots send

Ideas that propagate
Wrong thinking mend
Racism and hatred obviate
As peace flowers we tend

With love pollinate
So that in the end
All can celebrate
And each other befriend

I have been working and reading and living and dealing with all of the adult things that are somehow required of me. In that time I’ve also been observing my fellow humans. And dogs. We had a house guest for a week. Oreo is a delightful little dog who was so very easygoing. He loved everyone – all the peoples. He liked the old, the young, the happy and the sad. When you talk about “love languages” it was easy to figure out what made him tick. It wasn’t treats although he’d eat a treat if offered, sometimes. It wasn’t walks even if he was always eager to go with you if you showed him the leash. It wasn’t car rides either but he did seem to enjoy a change of scenery. NO, his love language was touch. He wanted to be petted, scratched, rubbed, or just have your hand resting on his head or back. We kept waiting for him to start purring. His favorite occupation other than sleeping was to watch the world go past the back yard on the walking path.

For his size he has a fierce bark. We didn’t realize what he sounded like until a large dog walked by. The little Pomeranian across the path elicited a little whine and lots of tail wagging. Several of the dogs we see around the neighborhood were greeted with vigorous tail wags and a happy attitude but they are all little dogs – Miniature Poodle, Yorkie, Dachshund, and a couple mini mixes. But the big dogs are persona non grata. He would let loose with a terrifying and loud bark and growl that should by rights belong to a dog weighing at least 50 pounds instead of a little 15 pound pipsqueak. The thing is, he has never met these dogs. One of them is a Golden Retriever who is a real lover. He likes everyone and everything. I suppose the worst he would do is drool. Still there is some built in prejudice against big dogs. It is so very human like.

Which brings us to the humans. What can I say? Unlike the canine we have the capacity to overcome our prejudice. We can learn to listen, open our minds and hearts: use our grey matter to reason and come to logical conclusions. But do we? Nope. There is a primitive reaction, a knee jerk if you will, toward any group that is perceived as different. To top it off we start to make smaller and smaller divisions to stratify our world. We start with the big differences based on appearance and then skew to things like religion or geographic region and then it gets to politics and whether or not you like pickles or coffee! We just keep slicing things thinner until we are all alone in a little box. The funny thing is that some folks realize that there are more similarities than differences way before they end up in solitary confinement by their own choice. And that’s the key, some but not all realize that we are all part of Homo sapiens and that we have (currently) no options but to live on this big (but getting smaller all the time) blue marble together. We make the choice to make friends and extend love and kindness to our fellow humans or to strain and bark in a frenzy at anyone different… I choose to make friends. I’m planting that garden. How about you?

47 thoughts on “Looking to Plant a Garden

            1. It is a dream that we were going to start with a trip to the last 2 States in the US we hadn’t visited – Alaska and Hawaii. But COVID put a kink in that. We are planning for next August. Once we’ve taken care of that, well, we are planning to visit Europe in several trips – we want to got to Germany and France as well as the UK and the Mediterranean countries… It may take us a couple years to get it all in. That is if COVID ever lets up!

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  1. A wonderful post! I shared with FB and hope others will read. Must think of this every time I see a political post over there. Perhaps my love of editorial cartoons should take a break now too.

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    1. Thanks tons Bonnie for sharing this one! It makes me smile to think you liked it enough to share!! We can get caught up in the negativity but we also must balance that with being informed…

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  2. Thanks! for the poem and the note about Oreo. You came close to describing Tami, who talks with her eyes and seems to be able to read my mind. When I pick up my laptop, she moves from my lap to between my knees. Only 10 pounds so is much like a cat. When she sees me “down” she brings me one of her stuffed toys, not not to play catch, or fetch, she wants me to chase her around the house to take it away from her.

    Thanks for starting my day off in a uplifting way.
    SAM

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    1. Thanks Sam for commenting and visiting! I’ve started following you – the Sen-Sen post cinched it for me. Dogs have been with humans for so long they have learned to “read” our moods. Hope the rest of the day is good!

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  3. From what I know of dogs, they like to know who is in charge. In any group, they’re genetically programmed to determine which dog is the pack Alpha. Little dogs don’t hate big dogs as a general rule, and it’s not a given who the leader will be. Some large dogs are complete marshmallows and some little ones have a lot of attitude. I used to take my medium-sized male dog to the dog park to play. Every time a dog is added to the group, all the others come over to check him out, give him a sniff or playful shoulder bump, determine his status in the pecking order. He would play a little with the other dogs but quickly discovered their humans were more fun. They didn’t mind dirty paws or dog kisses and were quick to give praise and petting. What can I say? He’s adorable and engaging and would go from one person to the next, totally eating up the attention they gave him.

    I enjoyed your take on humans and how we divide and differentiate ourselves from others in big and small ways until we have cut ourselves off from everyone. I’ve said (jokingly, of course) that I couldn’t be friends with anyone who didn’t like coffee or avocados. But I am. They have other redeeming qualities. I’m not naturally outgoing, but when I’m out walking the dogs or grocery shopping or picking up a library book, I smile at whoever I see. People know a smile when they see one, even from behind a mask. Earth’s population is growing, and parts of it are becoming uninhabitable due to climate change, rising sea levels, natural disasters, so we’ll all be living in closer quarters within a few generations. Our job is to slow climate change to whatever extent we can and learn how to live peacefully at each other’s elbows. I like the poem, too. šŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Joan!! True about the pecking order but Oreo wasn’t even within butt sniffing distance – he was behind a glass patio door. He would just go nuts when a big dog walked by but turned on the charm with the little ones. I think he is still coming to grips with being a dog. I suspect that for the longest time he thought he was a person!
      I’m tickled that you enjoyed the poem and commentary too!

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  4. Bear does not like dogs that she believes are going to hurt me, and that is any dog who’s off leash and headed our way. She prefers small dogs to large dogs unless they’re introduced properly. With dogs I know that a lot of their behavior is breed specific, but it’s also learned. Until a dog charged out of a yard to attack me, Bear was universally dog friendly. But that moment taught her, “OK I need to take care of Martha from this.” Bear learned that from a combination of her breed (livestock guardian dog) and an experience. I wish Oreo could have told you his story.

    I really love your poem. I agree with you. It would be so EASY just to get along with each other, so much easier than what we are doing now. šŸ˜¦

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    1. Thanks Martha! I’m gratified that you liked the poem and doubly that you agree with it! Oreo was owned by a woman who died. My friend took Oreo in and has had him for a couple years. When she got him he didn’t know how to play with dog toys or what a treat was. He is learning.

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  5. I think dogs are often very good judges of character, both human and canine, but they do have their preferences. My terrier was attacked by a “doodle” last year and now bristles every time he sees one, which here in NYC is about every block or so because they have become so popular.

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  6. Love your garden poem, I’ve been planting such since birth! And the wisdom expressed is vital … I often think size is an intimidation for little dogs or people. They feel a real need to exert themselves when a smile or a wagging tail would suffice!

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    1. Thank-you Kate! I’m sure your garden has been cultivated and yields an abundant harvest!! Over compensation only leads to trouble. Dogs often are attributed with abilities that they don’t have or are underdeveloped – they often lack reasoning skills that people (generally) are able to use. We can justify our actions and verbalize our inner thoughts often coming to a understanding of motivations. Dogs are much less complicated and what you see is what you get. If only they could make that connection!

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    1. That is just the issue – many are not willing to be friends. RBG and Antonin Scalia were polar opposites as far as their positions on many issues but were friends who could see past the differences. That is what we need to strive for!

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  7. a great post! touched my heart and made me resolve to be a better friend. we could all do with cultivating that beautiful garden. I have been catching up with your posts and your writing is coming strong and so powerful. thank you for the goodness you add to this world

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    1. Hi Gina! Thank you for your bouquet of praise!! It was a great way to start my day. Putting a little positivity and kindness into the internet seems to be what the world needs more of. Hope your weekend is beautiful!!

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          1. That is a very interesting title – i love how it sounds like an adventure waiting to happen – hope you are enjoying it.

            I read the most interesting book called “Drive your plow over the bones of the dead” – astrology, mystery and murder with some dry humour -I would recommend it.

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