Backgrounds and Foregrounds

I just learned this morning that I passed my criminal background check. The flowers and veggies in my soon to be planted garden will be pleased to know that they are in the hands of a non-felon. Their growth will subsequently be a more blissful experience since all they will have to fear is the prospect of drought, blight, invasive species and hail storms. I will not be included in their worst case scenarios unless they have any lingering doubts about my fidelity in keeping them properly bathed in both water and sunlight, which is not an issue when it comes to criminal investigations.

The reason for my being subject to this type of intrusion into my previously veiled and oh-so-exclusive past is that it is a requirement of the Master Gardening Program I am attending. It is a presentation of the University’s extension service and from their perspective the subject is not roses. Rather their whole point in making this investment of knowledge into a gang of amateurs, meaning my fellow classmates and me, is that they want us to volunteer in their community outreach programs as a means to reach a much broader audience by sharing our new knowledge with others in our respective communities. And for some reason they perceive that a criminal mind is not conducive to planting the seeds for a bountiful harvest in community relations.

I am technically free of a criminal record but that does not keep me free me from guilt. Fortunately there is a limit to what they can do when foraging through my background while I study foregrounds in the form of learning about soil composition. Dirt does not seem to care about your filthy conscience. If there is any blood on your hands it might help to improve the soil’s pH balance, making life and growth better for all concerned. And there is some justice in this week’s lesson, which will cover soil testing. So, just as my background was subject to examination, so it will be with the foreground that comprises my property. It will come under some scrutiny before I trust it to nurture my vines, shrubs and bulbs.

One can never be too careful when cultivating soil. You never know what lies beneath until you get your hands dirty. And in this case dirty hands are the gardener’s playground digging in foregrounds while ignoring one’s background.

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