Well, I am proud to report that finally, I have successfully grown things. And I kind of like it. I now understand what my mother was getting from the soil, sun, and flowers. She got to cultivate life.
Cultivating life has been important to me recently. Prior to this year of prayer, I always had some kind of project to direct my energy towards. Whether it was my research, a school project, or even planning an event for my sorority, each project usually involved some kind of problem solving (let's face it, I'm an engineer, so every project had to solve a problem). But now, my environment has changed. I'm not in school, I'm not a leader in any organizations, and I'm not working. My usual sources of projects and cultivating life are purposely not a part of this stage of my life. So I've turned to other creative endeavors like painting, dancing, and ukulele playing. But none of these physically create life. I've found that growing plants and tending flowers is filling that void for me.
I'm also at an age where friends are marrying and having babies. And there is a desire inside of me to create life too. Since I can't create human life, I am creating plant life and bringing beauty to our yard and home. The flowers give me something to nurture, something to be proud of. I have never spent so much time marveling at the amount of buds on a plant or how fast a shoot has grown. I'm proud and excited to show off the beauty of the flowers or the uniqueness of a new growth to the sisters. In fact, I spent most of memorial day just staring at our hydrangea which were beginning to flower. In the course of the afternoon, I memorized which buds were most open and which part of the plant flowered blue or pink. Spending time with the flowers has become a prayer. Their beauty draws me to quiet and their growth draws me to wonder.
|(a) A taste of my Mom's garden - where it all began, (b/c) the first hydrangea blooms from our backyard - watching life emerge is captivating, (d) Easter flowers in chapel bring beauty to our home.|
Now that I have time to putter in the garden, weeding and watering have become less chores and more loving care for new life. Gardening takes time, more than what it takes to water and weed. Plants speak by how they grow. We, as gardeners, need to listen. A good gardener takes the time to notice the messages flowers send through their petals and leaves. I should know, I watched my mom putter in the garden for 18 years.
Gardening is a chance to cultivate life.
Gardening is a way to care for the earth and for others.
Gardening brings color to our world.
Gardening teaches me to listen and pray.
What desires are stirring in you? How can you cultivate life? What new life is begging to be watered? What are the flowers in your life telling you, through their petals and leaves?