Among the many anniversaries Darien is celebrating this year, including its own, Darien’s Cherry Lawn Community Gardens is marking 45 years of companionship and cultivation.

A quick glance at the names on the first group of gardeners in 1975 shows many longtime Darien names, such as Coyle, Slavin and Thorne. Even Parks & Rec had their own plot.

Most of the gardeners we spoke to said they drew a sense of peace from gardening there. This seems to follow suit with how many view the outdoors during the time of the pandemic.

But there is something special about planting things from seeds and growing them. There’s a satisfaction in watching their progress, seeing their beauty or their ripening, and being part of that process. More important, the Darien gardeners seem like a microcosm of what a true productive and positive community can be.

Each square garden is different, reflective of each gardeners’ personality, but beautiful in their own way. They are individual parts, but pull up the scope, like we did with our drone photo on page 1, and they fit neatly together to make one cohesive, healthy, and colorful whole.

It is a patchwork quilt of flowers, vegetables, success, companionship, the glad sharing of resources and, quite literally, life.

It is a reminder, and a lesson, that it matters what we sow — because it often comes back to us, both good and bad. But it is also a reminder that the most successful way for a healthy community to thrive is to celebrate our differences and learn from them. In the community gardens, one of the most celebrated and harvested crops is a fellow gardener’s ideas.

During the last few months, there have been many people, like these Darien gardeners, planting and creating things.

In all species, when there is new life expected ahead, there’s often a term used called “nesting.” It’s the process of getting things in order, feeling hopeful and making them prosperous when new life is on the way.

When the pandemic first hit, Darien’s community gardeners were unsure they’d be able to open the gardens. So instead, they shared what kind of seeds they would grow instead. Some said seeds of hope, others said seeds of well-being and safety.

In some ways, this spring and summer feels like we are all nesting. Let us plant seeds of hope for a rebirth.