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To feed the soul

One of my most favourite old books is falling apart. It is a small, leather bound, 1907 book-of-the- heart written by Elbert Hubbard called White Hyacinths. Before it eventually disintegrates I mean to frame the first page; it read: If I had but two loaves of bread I would sell one of them and buy White Hyacinths to feed my soul. Yesterday I bought a potted hyacinth for $2.95. It isn’t white; it’s purple and sitting on my writing desk beside my computer. It is feeding my soul. As a gardener, every time I buy a plant from a non-plant store I feel both virtuous and trepidatious. I’m thinking of the poor bulbs which go on sale at Wal-Mart in September and look so sickly by November. You know the ones – straining through the nylon mesh bags in the mega-store’s artificial warmth. What about the wax covered roses which appear every spring, canes broken and frayed? Who can resist saving at least one bag of bulbs or one rose.  This new purple hyacinth will eventually end up in the garden where it will come back next spring, slightly less purple and less full, but will still be just as fragrant and just as welcome.

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