Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finding Life in the Garden

I have a rather large garden that surrounds the perimeter of my house. It was not my idea to have one so large. The previous owners were retired and spent their days widdling about the garden from Spring through Fall. They were so proud of it, in fact, that the conversation at our closing was about the perennials and how to manage them year round. Not being gardener, I promptly forgot everything they told us.

Come early Spring I am delighted to see the fruits of this couples' labor. Colorful buds sprout from beneath the somber ground to flourish into a full and lovely mound. By mid Spring, the real work begins. The weeds begin to sprout, the Spring foliage begins to die, and soon it's time to fill the planters, trim the ivy, and begin the monotonous task of garden maintenance. I am the type that wants to plant it once and leave it alone. As all gardeners are well aware, this is not how it works. Inevitably I spend HOURS in the garden each year (too many to count). I love being outside (preferrably in a hammock with a book), but I am always thrilled at the outcome. Every time I start out to work, gloves and gardening tools in hand, I am so overwhelmed by all that needs to be done that I swear that I will have only grass and ivy the following year. I threaten my little children of the dirt that I will dig them up and puts rocks in their place.

Threats are really all they are. The truth is, it is good thinking, reflection, and quiet time. As I dig my hands into the soil, it almost always happens without fail that I find life in my garden. Weeds show me how the little things, that creep and grow in all places, can spoil life. How you need to pull them at the root to rid your life of them completely. The long and winding roots create paths deep into the dirt, entangling different varieties of plants like friends' lives with each other.

Just yesterday there I was again in 40 degree weather in the garden cleaning what was left of the Summer's beauties and bagging leaves. As I dug deep to pull the dead roots to make way for Spring foliage, I came across many clumps of bulbs. As I carefully worked around them, I thought about how they would provide such beauty in the early Spring. How something so small, yet so deeply planted in the soil, would survive the harsh Winter, weather the frozen ground, and even multiply over the years. How true is that of so many things in our lives. The true beliefs of our faith, the teachings of our parents, or lessons of life experiences can be so deeply rooted in us. They can be so safe in our hearts that the harshest storms, or the daily cleansing of our negativities, or the uprooting of our bad thoughts cannot move them. And when the moment is right and the soil of our hearts has thawed these deeply planted bulbs can sprout to create beauty for all to see.

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