When I was younger, my mother kept a beautiful garden in the sloped front, reaching down to the well-traveled sidewalk. But because we lived on a busy strip close to a high school where, passersby would often rip flowers and shrubs out of the beds with no remorse. Usually it was the school kids, but not always. Recently this happened in my own backyard. An older woman ran up and tore several small branches off the newly bloomed Lilac tree. I was in shock, but before I could say anything from my balcony-watch she scurried off into the street. Part of me wanted to call after her, hold her accountable for her actions. Next time I will. The trees and flowers of the neighborhood are there for everyone’s visual enjoyment, particularly those who plant and maintain them, and so there is an expectation of respect.
Have you ever caught someone in the act of shamelessly uprooting flowers of tearing branches? How do you choose your words in these situations? Do you speak out even when the garden is not your own?
(Image: MaryAnne Petrella)