I’ve long said that I’ve got two black thumbs, that plants can just look at me and spontaneously die, that if you have a plant you can’t kill – just give it to me. I meant it to be funny and to reflect the reality that I have often been so busy that remembering to water the plants just doesn’t happen.
My mother loves flowers and cares for them tenderly. If you want to make her happy – give her flowers. Especially if they are potted and will bloom again. Or if they are bulbs that she can transplant once she’s done enjoying them.
I’ve tended to lean more towards the thought that flowers die. And they are pretty and all, but way more work than they are worth.
Now, planting a garden for food purposes….that I get. Both of my grandfathers were great gardeners. I know that there is nothing more tasty that food that has just been harvested from one’s own garden. I have a strong memory of sitting among the pea vines in the “back 40” of Nana and Poppa’s cottage, with one of our dogs (Penny, the miniature schnauzer, I think), pulling pods off the vine, opening them and eating the peas and sharing them with the dog. For an introvert like me, that was pretty much heaven.
So when I moved to the farmhouse, Mom asked if I wanted to plant a garden. She got plants and seeds for me, and together we planted them on the long weekend in May.
I’ve been delighted to wander up to the garden every couple of days and see the shoots coming up. The radishes were first, then lettuce and peas, the carrots were last, but are making a healthy go of it now.
As I watch the green and growing things in my garden, I’m reminded of many good things: that what starts out small may always grow; that in order for the plant to grow, it must die and be buried first – the life/death/new life cycle is imprinted in the very fabric of our world (and so the life/death/resurrection of Jesus is less incomprehensible miracle, as true revelation of how God made the world. We are NOT meant to end in death!); that even someone with two black thumbs can be changed into someone growing their own produce.
Today I am thankful for green and growing things – not just those in my garden, but those in the fields and forests around me, and especially those within our souls. God is doing a new thing – and even when we feel like we’ve been buried, faith tells us that this is just part of the process that God Himself designed.