My dear reader,
Stop right now and look outside.
Do you see that?!
After all the dull and dreary and dead, finally, thankfully, the great outdoors has begun to bud/bloom/blossom. (Unless you happen to live in Iceland or Death Valley. In which case I suggest you stop reading altogether… and relocate.)
Spring has been a loooooong time coming. March didn’t deliver. April didn’t either. It did bring those showers it always promises. Along with snow, sleet, hail and high winds. (Which is different than hail and high water, though we did get a couple flood warnings.) And a tornado watch too. After that, I stopped following our local meteorologist on Twitter. Because she was blowing up my feed.
Just when it seemed we’d fallen under some nefarious Narnian endless-winter spell, spring up-and-SPRUNG!
I got the first glimpse when my pale yellow daffodils peeked out from the snow-dusted earth. Shortly thereafter, the snow melted and the purple crocuses sprouted and splayed.
Then a lovely little magnolia stole the show.
Not to be outdone, the Redbud blossoms burst on the scene the very next day.
But that’s not all, folks. The coming attractions include scents of lilac and lavender, honeysuckle and heliotrope. (< If you don’t have some, get some. The fragrance is heavenly.)
Early-bird specials to late bloomers, full-sun or shady characters, I wholeheartedly agree with Claude Monet: “I must have flowers, always, and always.”
Shrinking violets and knockout roses. Bee balm and butterfly bushes. Dianthus and dahlias and daisies… oh my!
Moonflowers and sunflowers, snapdragons and sweet pea. Pansies, petunias and peonies. All in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors and designs.
My mom was a flower child. So I guess it isn’t all that surprising that I’d grow to love every blooming thing. (Yes, including dandelions. Especially when they’re twisted into a handmade garland by happy little fingers. What could be more lovely?)
From my very first seeds-sprinkled-in-a-styrofoam-cup-of-soggy-dirt kindergarten horticulture lesson… through years of planting/pruning/weeding/watering under the tutelage of my dear friend Jo… to becoming a full-fledged member of Newfields just so I can stroll the gardens whenever I please, I’ve been completely smitten by…
Flowers remind us that even when s%*t happens, something beautiful can come of it. (If only we will let God work when we’re deep in it.)
I think Lady Bird Johnson said it best:
Where flowers bloom, so does hope.
Why? Because flowers just do what they’re made to do.
Beautify. (Every view – and vase – they grace.)
Gratify. (Gardeners, photographers, florists and prom dates.)
Glorify… God Himself.
If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (Matthew 6:25-33, The Message)
Morning glories… and HALLELUJAH! He’s got you/me/us covered, clothed, and completely taken care of. Like every blooming thing.
You take care of the earth and send rain to help the soil grow all kinds of crops. Your rivers never run dry, and you prepare the earth to produce much grain. You water all of its fields and level the lumpy ground. You send showers of rain to soften the soil and help the plants sprout. Wherever your footsteps touch the earth, a rich harvest is gathered. Desert pastures blossom, and mountains celebrate. Meadows are filled with sheep and goats; valleys overflow with grain and echo with joyful songs. (Psalm 65:9-13, CEV)
Cultivate beauty. It’ll make the world a better place. Get your hands dirty. It’ll make your heart happy. Do a little weeding. In your garden… and your life.
What are you waiting for? Get growing!
P.S. Just for you… a little SPRING FLING contest! 1. Comment your favorite flower(s) or gardening tip(s). 2. Follow my blog – or if you’re already following, share the link via email or social media. 3. You’ll be automatically entered to win an assortment of annual and perennial seed packets selected by yours truly. (Winner will be announced May 11.)
Ready, set, grow!