I Listen and I Hear Ya


Two and a half years ago this world lost a very special soul—a brother, a son, a friend, a renegade. His name was Scott and to me he was a wise and generous person. To me he was patient but determined to teach me how to garden by listening to the earth, respecting nature, and reaping the gratitude of digging in the dirt.

We would have celebrated Scott’s birthday today and I still will by holding onto an important lesson that he unwittingly taught me. I had the propensity to spout off what I thought was good for Scott, what he should do to help improve his physical well being while he embarked on the road of stomach cancer. I cooked him healthy meals and took away the bag of potato chips that mysteriously manifested on the table. He would crack a smile and cock his head and say, “I hear ya.”

But for all the hearing Scott did, it was me who began to listen. I listened as he accepted that we play the cards we’re dealt. I listened as he played My Favorite Things on the piano and told me to make time to enjoy music. I listened as he instructed to pull the Morning Glories from the compost pile, because I should not be fooled by pretty things. They can choke off everything else. I listened also as he shared why he would not seek chemicals for his cancer but live as fully as he could with the time God gave him.

In the last season of his life, Scott helped me plant okra and sunflowers amongst other things. Both grew so high that I needed a step ladder to pick the okra and stake the sunflowers. They’ve never grown quite as well since. Today, I will plant my seeds for my sunflowers and I will think of Scott. I will take my time with my planting. I will be grateful for the soil to dig in. And, I will listen to a voice that reminds me this life is precious. And, I will say—I hear ya.


  1. steve p says:

    wow – i can’t believe it has been over two years since we lost our friend. what a wonderful soul. thanks anne, for relaying your thoughts about scott. i had forgotten how a visit with him could make me feel. your perceptive words allowed me to feel that again. i miss him.
    thank you

  2. Megan Ingram says:

    I hear ya Ann. 🙂 Scott taught me these lessons well. To listen to the garden, and to plant sunflowers among and many other things which I am doing each day in a new place and it makes me smile to know he shared this with so many people. So many songs, so many sunflowers in ginger beer bottles. Mayflower street misses the frisbee traffic holds, where time slowed down and all the busy class bound college kids took a moment out of their frustration of having to break–this quickly turned to smiles at the garden and seeing the joy of those taking in the sunshine, and not in such hurry. I think we all miss Scott. My lesson from him, my friend for many years, to slow down a little. What’s the hurry, have a cup of tea. Start the car and drive off instantly? Why not let it warm up first, let the engine get going. Shoveling some mulch, get the wheelbarrel headed in the direction your headed before you fill it up. Take a moment to say hello to people who pass by, maybe sing a song for them. Not too many folks have time to share themselves with the world, busy jobs, family responsibilities, rush rush rush. I think of Scott all the time, as I take a breath, and remember to be careful with my life, and to pay attention and everything slows down just a little….I am very thankful for this and for the time we spent working together and watching the garden grow, just one more time. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>