Pop’s Garden

By Karilyn Barnett

My father really enjoys his garden and has for many, many years.  As children we always anticipated the 4th of July holiday as it meant fireworks, rootbeer floats, and usually the first taste of Pop’s corn-on-the-cob.  That first bite of corn was always just amazing! Nothing in the stores could come close to it’s home grown freshness.

This spring, I planned a trip to visit my parents.  They live in northern California and I live in Texas.  We are 2000 miles apart and have been for 15 years. I’ve visited them many times, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been home for the 4th of July holiday.  I’ve really missed the 4th of July whoop-de-doo and wanted my children to experience a page from my childhood, so this year I planned our trip to fall over the 4th of July holiday!  

When we arrived the afternoon of July 3rd the first thing Dad wanted to do was to show us the garden.  As we walked through the garden he started telling us how he had been telling the Mama Corn that we were coming and that he wanted her to give us the very best babies she had.  Now this really wasn’t unusual talk coming from Dad, he’s always affectionately talked about Mama Peach tree, the Mama Tomato plant and every other Mama found in his garden. That evening Mama Corn did deliver her best.  We feasted on sweet, tender corn-on the cob and it was fantastic.  

In the past we just giggled over Dad’s goofy talk about Mama Corn and her babies, but this time I was struck by absolute belief in his garden.    

Months prior to the harvest, Dad spent hours and hours, carefully preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering and keeping the weeds out.   In the beginning he couldn’t see anything except dirt, but he believed and exercised 5 simple principles:

1) Faith that the seeds would grow

2) Knowledge that he was doing his part to care and cultivate the plants

3) He expected the corn and an abundance of it!

4) Growing corn takes time and can’t be rushed

5) Gratitude for the corn and for the satisfaction he receives from working in the


His absolute belief made me stop and wonder.  Could these 5 principles be the foundation to obtaining anything we desire in life? I think so.  If it is a new job we desire, then we must:

  1. Have the faith that the job is there, waiting for us
  2. Move our feet and do everything we can to obtain what is needed, i.e. skills
  3. Expect that the job will be ours
  4. Know that the process of finding the job takes time and can’t be rushed
  5. Give gratitude for the job and for those who have helped along the way.

In this world that we live in, we have become accustomed to everything happening fast!  We have fast food, cell phones, remote controls, fast cars and faster planes, e-mail that can find another e-mail on the other side of the planet in just a split second, BUT the process Dad taught me takes time.  We often give up on a dream because we want it to happen right now and when it doesn’t we throw it out. We may even say, “It’s not meant to be.” Nothing could be further from the truth; we just haven’t given it the time to grow, to develop and to find us.

Anything worth having is worth our patience and attention.  We must cultivate our dreams, even talk to our dreams just like Dad talks to his garden.  We can live our dream in our mind BEFORE it arrives and give thanks for it. When we slow down and do these things, we will receive the thing we desire.   

So next time you enjoy corn-on-the-cob, or a vine-ripened tomato, remember your dreams and aspirations and never give up!

I’m so glad I was able to spend the 4th of July with my parents.  It was great to slow down and to live like the “good ol’ days!” Their love, patience and example have always inspired me to be the best I can be and this trip was no exception.  



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Karilyn Barnett
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