Gardeners are a patient sort.
We plant what we know will take years before the time it produces the first harvest.
Each year after that, we tend and wait a whole year for that small window of time when we reap the fruits of our labors and our time invested.
Gardeners are dreamers and hopers.
We look at our tender young trees and bushes and vines and fantasize about that day in the future when we will fill baskets and buckets with delicious produce.
We picture the jams and jellies, the pies and syrups, the sun-warm fresh fruits.
We dream of abundance, full bellies and stocked pantries.
And then raccoons come and eat all of our muscadines.
Gardeners are schemers.
We plot traps and electric fences.
We wonder if there is a way to electrify a grape arbor so greedy raccoon paws get 7,000 volts of Tennessee Valley Authority lightning from the tips of their whiskers to the ends of their ringed tails.
We wonder if we camp out in our garden late at night, say, near the arbor, what combination of hollering and pot-banging and air horn blowing would strike a balance between critter-scaring and a charge of disturbing the peace.
We question our sanity sometimes.
We wonder why we put so much blood, sweat, and years into growing things we can get in the car and drive to the grocery store and buy in a convenient package.
We simply wonder.
Then a fig ripens. We are hungry and we twist it from the tree.
Silky latex from the stem drips like milk through our fingers. The musky smell of fig leaves surrounds us.
We eat the fig, soft and candy-sweet, the tender seeds crunch between our molars.
And we don’t wonder anymore.