I didn’t plant a garden this year. The neglected plot of earth along the side of my house passed from bare dirt to weed to garden of foliage with the aging, aching summer that began with a May house fire and ended with an August car theft. I really don’t want to talk about June and July.
Beside mine, Patrick’s garden thrived. Every year, my basement neighbor sews and reaps tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, chard, cucumbers, carrots, onions, and beans. He’s a master at it. We don’t talk much, Patrick and I, just in passing, whenever our comings and goings happen to coincide. Though not especially familiar with one another, we’re hospitable and courteous neighbors. I don’t play the piano when he’s home (the piano is situated directly above his living room); he mows the front lawn. I re-deliver his wrongly addressed mail; he leaves a bucket of salt on the back steps in winter. We each know where the other hides the spare key, just in case. I’ve used his once. I don’t think he’s touched mine.
But despite our proximity and the floor/ceiling we share between us, we have very effect on each other’s lives. Until this summer. Because when the fire department arrived to put out the flames in my house, they broke down his door to make sure he wasn’t there. And when my car was stolen and his broke down and the driveway was empty, we had something to talk about. And when Patrick’s garden was overrun with tomatoes and cucumbers, he left them a basketful on my back porch, to help him out. I made him a salad.
There’s something special about a garden. In “Early Harvest,” Sandra Jergensen sighs with regret, “my first summer garden is hard to release,” in the face of coming winter and inevitable change. Kelsey Petersen’s “Lessons Learned from Hymn #220” is a reminder that not all our gardens yield the same fruit. As for me, I am eager to release the hold summer has had on me; I am keenly aware of the inadequacy of my own garden. But I’ve learned lessons from the Summer Garden of 2014, the planted and unplanted alike, and both will stand in my memory as something fruitful.
Coming soon: archived content from the Spring/Summer 2012 issue
February 2014, no issue
April 2013 — Special Issue: 2013 Contest Winners
March 2013 — Special Issue: Mormonism and Disability
Featured Artist: Annie Henrie
Segullah Volume 9 Spring/Summer 2012
“Justice and Mercy”
Featured Artist: Amanda M. Smith
Featured artist: Cindy Ferguson
“Inside and Outside Marriage”
Featured artist: Maralise Petersen
Featured artist: Rebecca Wetzel Wagstaff
“Gifts of the Spirit”
Featured artist: Leslie Graff
Featured artist: Lee Bennion
“Palette of Light”
Featured artist: Sharon Furner
“Roots and Branches”
Featured artist: Mandi Mauldin Felici
Featured artist: Jacqui Larsen
Featured artist: Jamie Wayman
“Cleave Unto Charity”
Featured artist: Rose Datoc Dall
“Women Proclaiming the Gospel”
“Corridors of Change”
Featured artist: Claire Ferguson
“The Measure of Creation”
Cover art by Victoria Holt