"I could tell my husband now about Goodman in the garden. I raised Goodman myself—solid black Lab—and, after a year gave him up, the way you do, for further training and a life with Alice Banks. Alice was a gardener. She and her husband relaxed on weekends tending beds of annuals and several kinds of tomatoes. When Alice and Goodman graduated from the program, Alice said I was welcome to stay in touch. It is always the Blind person's call."
from The Dog Of The Marriage, a short story by Amy Hempel
I had nearly finished the collected stories of Amy Hempel the last time I was on break from teaching. Maybe it was being on break which brought me back.
I stopped while reading and wondered... can you garden blind? Blind gardening, can you imagine? I try. I imagine the difficulties. The struggle. How much of gardening for me is a visual joy? With that gone...
I end up pondering the state of my spirit if I was to lose my vision. Would I become deflated and bitter? What would happen to those things for which I have a passion?
My students come to school as I would enter blind to a garden... every right to be bitter. Paper and pen... words and numbers... these things make school a hard place filled with failures. It is my job more than any other to show them the joy that can happen in a classroom. Sometimes I can do this, with their help.
If I become blind, I hope to remember to find those who bring joy into my life. So now I I imagine entering my garden blind, but I am not lost and alone for I am guided by my friends, family, and one hip black Lab.
want to help a blind gardener... check this out.