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The Mystery Garden is a 21-page illustrated poem in ebook format. The poem gently nudges the reader to rethink priorities and focus on what is most fulfilling in life. As we try to curb emissions to mend the climate, we will have to make better choices, ones that do not promote endless consumption. Are there alternatives that can give us a deeper satisfaction? The Mystery Garden tells us, yes!

This poem gives me great comfort whenever I read it. Knowing it would never work as a children’s book, I've let it sit idle, taking it out from time to time to savor it. The inspiration for it came from a community garden that literally took my breath away.

It was 1985 in Reno, Nevada, a high elevation town that is not known as a gardener’s paradise because of the short growing season and the average annual precipitation of only 7 inches. In an empty lot on a drab, sandy street, there it was—a lush garden, its green stunningly vibrant. I went home and wrote the poem.

Ever since, community gardens have been magical places for me, and here in Seattle there are many, one just blocks from my home. This fall, all the gorgeous vegetables in this eBook grew in several of these community gardens. I thank the gardeners for their tender labors that allowed me to walk the garden paths and peek among the leaves, looking for what I could harvest with my camera.

I have always had wonderful gardeners as friends. I admire them so much, especially because I am not a gardener. I cultivate stories instead, and so, I offer this eBook to you in hopes it can nourish you as much as it nourishes me. It was such a joy for me to make it.

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