Published on December 20th, 2012 | by msalt


American Koans #1: Volunteers

by Mark Saltveit

Maybe I’m just lazy.

I plant nothing. Own no tools. Use no fertilizer or pesticides.
Couldn’t even tell you the names of the plants. Just wait for “volunteers.”

I look at my garden. If I don’t like a plant, I kill it. I keep killing until
I like everything.

Volunteers grow where they want, without my direction but with my permission.
If I had planted the identical seed, I might have put it a foot away where it
would get too much sun, or not enough water.

I trust nature to write, and sometimes I edit.

My garden is unruly. It grows in its own season. Birds and butterflies love it.
Everything is in its place.

Now, to be honest, sometimes my daughters plant things that my wife picks
out for them. And I don’t object.

I have my principles, but I’m not an idiot. They’re volunteers, too.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Mark Saltveit is a writer, standup comedian, skimboarder and dad based in Middlebury, Vermont. His improv show "Palindrome Fight!" will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Aug. 5-29th 2022 at the Kilderkin Pub, 67 Canongate, at 7:30pm each night except Tuesdays.

One Response to American Koans #1: Volunteers

  1. Pingback: Taoish | Spiritual but not pretentious

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top ↑