beneath the tree of tomorrow

I am listening to silence (which is never quiet), I am listening to summer (pretending to be fall), I am listening to flowers bloom (a whispered symphony).

The sound of bare feet on wood floors, old floors, the kind that have enough character to creak.

Bird song that creeps beneath closed windows, a tea kettle whistling loudly, the hushed rush of clouds rolling by.

Everyone has all the answers.

I cover my ears, preferring my unwisdom, my empty bowl of questions. There are things I enjoy not knowing.

Where the tree frog sleeps at night. If dew is enough to quench a flower’s thirst. Why a book can break my heart, and still, I’ll keep reading.

The truth is, none of it matters. The truth is, my truth is always going to be different than yours, because universal doesn’t mean we have the same eyes. There are no perfect gardens. The all have bugs, unless you kill them with chemicals, and then that’s just a synthetic version of paradise.

By this time of year, it’s hard to find a plant in my garden that has no evidence of damage. Holes chewed by slugs, or grasshoppers, blooms made small and weak by pests that suck the life from their stems, leaves yellowed by lack of nutrient. This is life and we call it less than perfect, not-so-pretty.

We look away.

I use scissors to cut out the worst of the leaves, the dried brown blooms gone to seed.

Afterwards, I think the plants look awkward, fake, lopsided. They were happy to show us their bounty, their scars, their proof of life. Happy to be riddled with this evidence of time.

Life always makes its mark on you. If perfect is the only beauty you can see, you’ll always miss the map of scars leading you back to your heart.

I am listening to silence (which is never quiet). I hold out my wrinkled hand and brush dirt from yesterday’s cheek.

I am dirty, I am tattered, I am smiling.

And my lips are stained by berries.






11 Responses to “beneath the tree of tomorrow”

  • Donna@Gardens Eye View Says:

    Oh Kelly you have touched my heart deeply with these beautiful words…’If perfect is the only beauty you can see, you’ll always miss the map of scars leading you back to your heart.’ Incredible words and so many thoughts lighting up my gray matter.

    I love the scars of my garden…I let them show off their beauty which is amazing all through winter too.

  • Michael Says:

    I am so very glad that this was the first thing I read when I awoke today, because it has made my day Perfect. This piece should be the prologue for your book; it is the theme of all your work.

  • Sue Link The Northern New York Gardener Says:

    Such simple words, yet beautifully written. I love it and was thinking the exact same thing this morning about the garden “never being perfect”. We must be on the same wave-length!

  • Kathryn Dyche Dechairo Says:

    This has such a serene sense of wisdom about it.

  • tilda Says:

    these words touch every corner of my thoughts and heart.
    ..I am listening to silence, which is never quiet.
    I love listening to silence. It calms me and strengthens me.
    Thank you for such a look into your garden.
    In my fondest, always.

  • Sooz W Says:

    I just love reading about how the plants looked fake after you trimmed their scars off. They had been happy to show their scars, their proof of life; happy to be riddled with this evidence of time. There were so many beautiful expressions of truth in this that it went right into my Kelly Letky notebook. But I may have to post a piece of it … yes I might have to.

  • nana Says:

    oh, kelly you took my breath with this , it is so beautiful and i am so proud of you:)

  • sarah Says:

    I love this so much <3

  • brian miller Says:

    i want my lips stained with berries…ha….right now i have grape and it does not stain my mouth…but boy does it taste good….i think our scars do bear the proff of a life lived…to cut that away…i think is a bit unnatural…

  • grapeling Says:

    I really appreciate this, Kelly. I’m guilty of knowing everything, except I don’t, and the hardest thing is to let go and be ok with not knowing. ~

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