Walking Journal / Walking

Walk 6 – Our (Cough …. My Wife’s) Garden

. 3 min read . Written by Russell Smith
Walk 6 – Our (Cough …. My Wife’s) Garden

In which I reflect on some of the innumerable ways my incredible wife supports our family

Good heavens. A blazing hot day and week. It felt like a day for a walk close to home.

I hadn’t seen the garden all year. So green!

In his magisterial biography of George C. Marshall, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Forrest Pogue notes Marshall’s love of gardening. Reading that in my early 20s, I had a hard time believing that a tremendous war leader would invest so much time and energy into something so….um, peaceful. Now, approaching 50, I know better.

Truly, this is Kathleen’s garden. She, almost alone, cares for it, waters it and shows it love every day. She uses raised garden beds called VegTrug, so she doesn’t have to constantly bend down for pruning and watering. She has four of them for the garden, plus one for spices. Wait, another one arrived the day after this walk…make that five VegTrugs.

While walking, I thought about how this garden symbolizes Kathleen’s innumerable contributions to our family life: creating a place of beauty; striving for us to eat healthy food; enjoying the outdoors; using our space in our corner of Louisville well; revealing her care in her daily selfless actions.

I read a book years ago that described a study of married couples. Each person was asked to write down his or her percentage contribution to the work of the family. So the number could be anything between 0 and 100. The numbers of the two people in the marriage should add to 100%. Instead, the scientist found that often, both people rated their individual contribution as well over 50%, making the total add to a percentage substantially greater than 100%. The point is – people tend to overestimate their own contributions to family life, and undervalue their partner’s contribution.

That study came to my mind; I reflected how much Kathleen means to my daughters and to me. Her contribution to our family life is definitely 65 or 70 or 75%  – or more. And mine surely is more like 25 or 30 … or maybe 35%.

My walk in her good garden reminded me of her goodness. As she cares for the garden, so she cares for our entire home, and for us.