The Carpenter and the Gardener.

July 21, 2020

The Carpenter and the Gardener.

May 29, 2023

To Christine and Chip (Pronouns applied equally throughout to women and girls) The carpenter was a busy man His work his passion and joy He had dedicated all to carpentry Since he was just a boy

His boxes were all perfect
His tables flat as plains
And the excellence of his workings
Shone out in every way

I have built all of the boxes
I have followed all the rules
I have studied every technique
At the very best schools

I have measured all the measures
And sharpened every blade
I have reached out for perfection
And love the things I’ve made

The gardener was a patient man
Lazy some would say.
He’d watch things in his garden
Grow slowly every day

He tended plants with water
He marveled at their joy
He’d started planting seedlings
When he was just a boy

I have planted my sweet garden
And watched it grow and spring
I’ve taken pleasure in the surprises
And the wonder nature brings

I have watered and I’ve cherished
I have tended every grove
I have let my garden flourish
And showered it with love

The carpenter and the gardener
Met one day and talked
They agreed to build a playground
For all the village folk

The carpenter arrived early
With plans and tools and lines
He’d invested all his energy
To build something truly fine

The gardener arrived a little late
And with an empty hand
A bottle and some glasses
Ready to contemplate the land

The carpenter said that just won’t do
You should have planned like me
Be prepared and be ready
And bring everything you need

The gardener looked baffled
The world doesn’t work as you say
I plant and tend my garden
And it grows in its own way

Look at all the plants out here
They are lovely, wild and free
I can encourage them to flourish
But I can’t tell them what to be

The carpenter grew impatient
He knew that he was right
And shared the facts of his opinion
Late into the night

And the gardener grew flustered
He felt that he was right
And finally with his feelings hurt
He walked off into the night

Many years passed
And the carpenter realized his plans
With sweat upon his brow
And the labor of his hands

The park was finally built as drawn
It was impressive and fine
The lines were all correct and perfect
And it was completed right on time

But few came into the park
It wasn’t a place for play
Too many rules to abide by
So it sat empty every day

The carpenter was stricken
Why had no one come to see
The park he had built was perfect
The way it was meant to be

The gardener had decided
To create his park in the wild
He tended and he planted
And worked hard in his style

His park was finally flourishing
It was glorious and so free
Just like he had imagined
A park was supposed to be

But no one understood it
So no one came by to see
For the park was so unstructured
It looked like a forest of trees

The gardener was stricken
He couldn’t understand
Why wasn’t it obvious to everyone
His wild and beautiful parkland

The carpenter went to the gardener
And again asked him for help
I have done everything just right
But I’m alone here by myself

The gardener was beside himself
His dream was beyond his reach
He agreed to learn from the carpenter
And everything he would teach

I’ll try my best to follow you
If you’ll follow me as well
The things you know and understand
And secrets your heart will tell

The carpenter agreed to try
His park was such a joy
He’d dreamed of making something great
Since he was just a boy

They worked for days together
Planting trees for hours
And making boxes straight for plants
And trellises spaced for flowers

As they labored they made friends
They laughed and sang and smiled
And people started helping them
Coming from miles and miles

The gardener stood and marveled
At the wonderful park they’d made
It was wild and truly free
And yet perfect in every grade

This park is beyond my reckoning
I wonder if I was wrong
Without planning and specificity
We would never have got this done

The carpenter stood beside him
His smile was wide and true
He’d never seen a park as lovely
A symphony of life and wood

This is so beyond my schema
So far from what I had thought
Life and love were grown here
Beyond the plans I brought

They turned to each other
Both needing to be heard
But in their satisfaction
They smiled without a word

They turned to the park again
Surveyed it from above
And saw that what truly mattered
Was building things with love

It is love
It is love
It is love
It is love

You can be right
You can be wronged
Maybe weak or maybe strong
But the only true work song

Is love

Jeff Hamaoui is one of the partners in MEA as the Chief Education & Innovation Officer and answered his midlife call to adventure by moving his family down to Baja from the SF Bay Area.

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