by Rick Bessette
Shelburne’s Poet Laureate
From vegetable gardens to flowers, the long-awaited gardening season in all its glory is here.
Tomatoes, sweet corn, and berries—ah, so much to enjoy!
Fresh cut flowers to grace the kitchen table, the colors and fragrances endless.
And for those of us that want to avoid fighting bugs, disease, watering, and weeds, the farmers market is perfect. A mixture of friends, crafts, and food all in one place, plus an opportunity to support local venders in the warm summer sun.
I had the great pleasure of working for a wonderful gentleman at Shelburne Farms a few years ago. Every Friday we would spend the day together. His gardens were the joy of his life. He was so proud of the beauty he had worked so hard to maintain.
Although he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he carried on with his gardening, enjoying peace and quiet until he could no longer walk. The disease eventually took his life. I wrote this poem for him.
He arrives with the morning sun
To his garden of pride and joy,
Captivated by his surrounding,
Following dreams from when just a boy.
His day spent among the flowers
Finding reward in work done:
Plants showing great beauty in color
And growing strong in the summer sun.
Only stopping to wipe away
Sweat that has gathered on his brow,
Never too tired or discouraged,
Fulfills his caretaker’s heartfelt vow.
The warmth of the day all but gone,
For the sun has now found the west,
He gathers up his cart of old tools,
Goes home, knowing he’s given his best.