Just south of me is a really nice neighbour who, sadly, let his yard become just a little shabby lately. The neighbour was really under stress, some bad things happened to his house and we sorrowed for him. Some things got left outside in the rain, the fence has a couple of boards loose and some things are looking just a little worn. The garden got a little weedy. The occasional weed seed blew over the fence, but that is OK, some of mine blew his way on occasion. It happens.
Today the neighbour got some really good news. He has a lot more energy, and you can already see some bits and pieces have been picked up. When you see the neighbour, there is a bounce, a certain jauntiness in his walk. You know this good neighbour is going to get things ship shape but being a gardener yourself, you know it is going to take some time.
As a gardener, you know that it is going to take some effort and time to clean away the weeds, and you know that your neighbour is going to have to be right there when those weeds pop up again, as weeds will do. You know that before all this is done, the garden may look a little different. There may be roses where there were petunias before. That sunny spot might have orange sunflowers and russets and reds beside the ordinary yellows growing there. There may be new walks among the crisp green lawns.
You might not do things exactly the way your neighbour does them. You might tend to pop in a wild flower or two while your neighbour might prefer to give more over to the vegetables. Its possible that over time, the newly planted crab apple tree is going to drop way more crab apples over the fence than you would like, but you're not going to worry about it now. Time enough for pruning when the tree is bigger.
You're just glad that your neighbour is feeling better about things. Its nice to see him with a smile on his face, and a skip in his step and his heart full of hope. The neighbourhood feels just a bit more welcoming this morning, as if the clouds have blown away and the sun is going to shine again.
Its the kind of day when I hear James Blaskette in my head singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, and know that this time, he really, really means it. 'My oh my, what a wonderful day'.