Nature Knows Best

yellow tomato leaves

I woke up this morning and enjoyed my morning coffee as I do every morning. It was early and the dew was still on the plants. The bees were not very busy yet; it was silent which is why I like early mornings. I took my usual garden walk, coffee in hand, and I noticed a few of my tomato plants had yellowing leaves on the bottom. All at once my morning was no longer peaceful. I wondered about that.

My garden is not doing so well this year (I think), and that worries me as well. I’m not sure why? Is it because I want to be perceived as a good gardener or is it because I want to be a good gardener? Maybe it’s the soil, the plants? My father-in-law chuckled at my worries. He’s been a farmer for some sixty years. His only advice: “it happens sometimes.”

That was not good enough for me. I knew better; better than a man who had spent his life growing things! That’s the thing with nature: it does not care what we want or why we want it. It simply is. I understand this even when I take my morning walk with my coffee: it only seems to me as if nature is pleasing. But nature knows best.

I don’t understand how my father-in-law is so nonchalant about something he has spent a lifetime doing. I tell him this and he brings back a conversation about nature that we had many years ago concerning the nature of, well, nature. He reminds me that nature does what nature does best: exist; this coming from a farmer of sixty years. After that, he adds, it’s pretty much guesswork and we don’t have much say so in the matter.

I don’t know why, but I can’t accept that explanation. It is not because it is not an answer, but because there are reasons for everything, even if we do not know what those reasons are. Also, I must admit, I expect a little more from a lifetime of experience in farming, which is what this man has. He seems to recognize my disappointment and chuckles again. I think he realizes that it is because of his experience and not in spite of it that he can laugh.

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