In the quiet of early morning – the part of the early morning I never saw before having kids – I can look out the window and often find my neighbor tending to his gardens. It is one of the most peaceful and serene moments of my days. And if you could squeeze musical notes out of the visual, it would end up a score on some award-winning National Geographic program.

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Several months ago, our neighbors asked if they could tear out the grass in a 5 x 5 section of yard that we share. He wanted to plant some flowers. And the little section, bordered by driveway on two sides, a side walk on another, and the street curb on the other, seemed like a reasonable piece to give up to his calming green thumb. This relinquishing of control is something I’m becoming accustomed to in parenting. And I’m discovering that the results create beauty nonetheless.

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Most recently, a sunflower has stood upright, shoulders broad and confident. It’s a startling contrast to the transitional urban area where we live. For a short time, rather than telling folks we’re the fourth residence on the left just past the commercial auto lot, we can say our driveway is the one to the right of the Sun.

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