But I know the truth about gardens, the truth that I know she doesn’t like to acknowledge: Once things grow, the garden gets messy. The tomato vines move over into the pepper plant’s space, the basil grows tall and starts to choke out the marigolds living somewhere below. The thyme, a low grower, might be overshadowed by the dill that continues to reach its spiny little leaves upward toward the sun. A vine heavy with fruit is going to fall over and a squirrel might pick off a few tomatoes and leave them in the patch of parsley. Weeds will grow, even after my best attempt at shielding the garden from them with mulch and newspaper. By the end of the summer some things will move from flower to fruit to seeds – large brown heads of seeds, dried up, and scattered on the ground assure that in the spring, left untouched by the gardener, a cacophony of volunteer plants will reign.
The booklet of Ferry Beach conference offerings is neat with its beautiful photographs and careful layout, each page more beckoning than the next. Schedules, supply lists, staff lists, menus are all neatly tucked into specific folders, waiting. Templates for the Tidings daily newsletter are being created, and summer staff has been hired. Many people have registered and are making their plans to take off work and travel to Ferry Beach. Everyone is coming with their own expectations of the way the conference will go, each of us with our own diverse set of ideas.