The Whole World, A Garden

How is your eyesight? I’m not asking about your physical vision. I’m referring to your ability to really see the world as it was meant to be seen.

Not long ago. I was walking through the mall and, while walking, saw a woman sitting in a chair. On the one hand, she held a white cane, a device used by people who are blind or visually impaired, while on the other hand, she held a book. I watched for a moment or two and then continued walking.

After I had gotten what I had come for, I started back through the mall toward my truck. As I walked, I again saw this woman sitting in the same chair. This time she was reading the book. Showing my ignorance, I thought, “She’s blind, how is she reading a book?” Then I thought, “brail stupid, she’s reading brail.”

I realize staring is a common practice, but I found myself captivated by the whole scene. So, I went and sat down in a vacant chair across from the woman as she read. I must have sat there for 30 minutes watching her read. As I began o leave, this woman looked up from the book, and with the most beautiful smile, said, “Have a nice day.” It really caught me off guard. How did she know I was there? Remember, she was blind. I responded with a quick, “Thank you, and you have a nice day as well.” “Oh, I am,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful day.” I then asked her what she was reading. She said, “I’m reading a wonderful children’s novel by Frances Burnett, titled, The Secret Garden. I responded, “I’ve never read it, but I love the title.” She then said, “Listen to this.” She placed her finger on the page and read the following, “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” She then said, “You know I’ve been sitting here for over an hour enjoying my garden.” I didn’t really get what she was trying to say. I told her, “that sounds great! You have a nice day,” and with that, I was gone.

I would later reflect upon my encounter with the blind lady at the mall, and her quote from, The Secret Garden, “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

I’m convinced she’s right! But, I would add that the beauty of our garden is mostly dependent on our willingness to tend it. A beautiful garden doesn’t just happen, it must be cared for by planting, fertilizing, watering, and weeding.



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