"Mr. Owita's Guide to Gardening"

Look Outside Yourself

Carol Wall was in pain. Some of the pain she had carried for a long time and some was more recent. A high school English teacher, she lived in a big house with her husband, a lawyer. Money was not one of her problems.

Into her life came Mr. Owita, a native of Kenya, who had worked magic in her neighbor's garden.

Carol assumed that Mr. Owita was an uneducated African who, by some lucky circumstance, was able to relocate to America to live the dream. He worked part time in a gardening shop and part time in a grocery store. When he came to work in her garden, Carol brought him books about gardening to help him with his work. One decision she was adamant about was not having flowers in her yard since flowers die, reminding her of the death of her young sister.

Mr. Owita was always quiet and respectful and refused to call Carol by her first name. But Mr. Owita was far from being uneducated. He had a Ph.D. in horticulture and enough personal pain to match Carol's. However, his pain did not dictate to him how to think or how to act the way that Carol's did. Slowly, Carol learned how to open herself up to a more joyful, outward looking life - and to glory in the vivid colors of flowers of all kinds.

Carol Wall is a writer of essays and magazine articles. She has sharpened her pen to write about personal experience with a man of wisdom and grace who touched the lives of many people in her community. The result makes for satisfying reading.