Why Be God When You Can Be A Human:
Being God Is A Very Difficult Job

Years ago, in Smalltown, a young citizen chose to grow a garden. Sure, others in town also grew gardens, but this garden would be different.

There wasn't very  much room for a garden, and the tall trees and buildings blocked the light for all but a few minutes each day. But determined and motivated, the citizen proceeded.

First, a study was made of all the other gardens. Their layout and irrigation systems were examined, how they were tended and what plants they contained. Notes were taken and interviews with the gardeners were recorded. Many trips were taken to the various garden shops and nurseries. When the accumulated information became more than a person might understand in a single lifetime, the citizen began to make the garden.

First was the ground. It was tilled. Fertilizers, sand, and loam were mixed in. All the rocks and stones were removed and placed along the borders. irrigation would utilize a run-off system. Between the plants small gullies were formed into which water would flow, providing the roots of the plants easy access.

Choosing the plants was more difficult. The nearly constant shade left few choices. Many thorny plants would survive, but few flowers. Plants that would provide an edible harvest would not tolerate the lack of light. The notes and information collected did mention a few plants that might thrive in the shade, and although difficult to find, the citizen was able to acquire some of them in trade. The barter system seemed particularly common, but the citizen had so little to offer. Eventually an agreed exchange was met and soon the garden was full of plants.

Each day the citizen would admire the garden and tend to its needs. Supports were added for the climbing vines, and the weeds were pulled as soon as they appeared.

The garden grew slowly. The lack of light and the constant attack by weeds, bugs, and animals wore on the citizen and the plants. As time passed, the citizen became less able to do the daily work, and the weeds began to overtake the plants. The shade grew more intense, and what little light that touched the garden was captured by the weeds. Insects and animals attacked the plants with increased fervor as well. What had begun as a dream now was becoming a nightmare. The many years of toil had only produced a haven for weeds and vermin.

Other citizens began to complain about the unsightly garden and its pests and weeds. Their own gardens began to become home to the weeds and vermin. The town gathered in protest, and it ruled that this garden could no longer be tended by the citizen who had worked so hard to create and tend it.

Heartbroken and tired, the citizen was banned from town, and others were given the task to "fix" the garden.

Many years later, the citizen returned to visit the garden. A nostalgic look, a last wish, so to speak.

The tiny plot had been covered over with concrete and a small cafe had put tables and chairs there. On each table was a plant growing in a pot. The trees and tall buildings that once had shaded the plot were gone. Umbrellas on each table now provided the shade.

The citizen sat in a chair and watched as the waitress watered the plants with a cup of water. There were no insects or animals to attack the plants anymore.

The tiny garden had become the center of town, where everyone gathered to share their wisdom and talk.


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