(See Part 1 before reading Part 2)
The old woman paused before speaking. During that brief pause, I looked past her sitting across from me at the table in the sun room and out to my own garden.
It was very early in spring and I could see off in the distance a few yellow daffodils blooming in small clumps scattered here and there. The first hints of green looked like fuzzy halos around some of the trees. Further out in the garden, the vegetable garden was a newly created blank slate, and I was anxious to get out there and mark off where the new beds would be.
With a soft clearing of her throat, the old woman once again captured my gaze and began to tell me her secret.
“Carol, the secret I want you to know now, that many gardeners never figure out, is that no weed or insect or plant disease or weather calamity can do as much to prevent us from having the garden we want to have as procrastination can.
If you rid your garden of procrastination, you’ll have no regrets, and you’ll have a garden that you can share with others because it won’t be just in your mind, it will be a reality that you can sit in, stroll through, harvest from, and garden in.”
She stopped speaking momentarily, giving me a few minutes to reflect on what she had said. I hastily made some notes so I could remember this secret exactly as she told it to me.
Then she summed it up in just a few words, “Banish procrastination from your garden”.
With those final words, she rose out of her chair and headed toward the door. As she crossed the threshold, she turned and said, “If it is okay with you, I’d like to come back occasionally to see how you are doing with your garden, and perhaps share other secrets with you.”
I nodded yes and encouraged the old woman at the door to return whenever she wanted to. With that assurance, she headed down the driveway and disappeared around the corner. Before I could wonder how she got to my house, she was gone.
I suddenly could not wait to get out to the garden. I went back to my bedroom and changed into a comfortable pair of loose khaki pants with mud stained knees and my favorite old green sweatshirt. On my way out, I grabbed the hat I’d won in Austin and slipped on a pair of gardening clogs.
As I rounded up a hoe and a rake and headed back to the vegetable garden, I wondered if I would ever see the old woman at the door again.
Somehow, I knew I would.