Once, what seems long ago, I heard a friend of mine had contracted a cancer. His prognosis was for a short but painful exodus from this vale of tears.
I found him in his vegetable garden. He weeded the weeds, fed the fertilizer, arranged the soil lovingly and watered the little plants, for spring it was, then, the last he would see if the doctors were right and the cancer had its way.
I do not know what I will do when I get my benediction. What will you do?
I called him by name, after a while, and asked him, "Do you feel like being in the garden?"
He said, "This is an important time. You have to really be careful of the little things in the garden just now."
We were silent, watching the garden, all inch by inch and row by row, waiting for the rain. We willed the little plants to succeed.
I called him by name, "You know, this will look good in August."
"I will be gone," he told me. "It's enough to know the garden will still be in the world. I am getting it ready for someone else to harvest. It's enough to know this is still in the world."
His voice trailed off then. I did not know what to say or how to say it.
Moral courage is the inner workings of the Valiant Gardener, who may not, who, finally, will not benefit from his planting or his tending but for whom it is enough to know the garden is still there to the harvest benefit of another fellow.