One of the things I love is my rose garden, so I was planning to spend some time there yesterday. However, 16 hours of atrial fibrillation put that idea on hold when I was told by the doctor to take it easy for a couple of days. Since it was 90 degrees outside, I stayed in and rehung some pictures in the living room instead, a job without physical strain that I find very restful and relaxing. One of the paintings by my daughter-in-law –gorgeous pink peony roses in a magnificent frame — was so real I could “smell the roses!” My plans hadn’t worked out, but God provided a blessing anyway.
I am a “planner” and a garden needs a plan, but my garden is designed more like this: “Oh I think I’ll put the bell-flower here near the apple tree, the yarrow and bee balm over there across the path.” Recently I read a line in a little book called Jesus Calling which has stuck with me– “A mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control.” Ouch! That hit home because most of my planning is whirling in my mind — how I can get everything done that needs doing the next day, or week or month. I wonder if I should just say, “Today I will live in the present and take things one at a time.” Then maybe I wouldn’t be so disappointed when my plans didn’t work out or get upset if I was interrupted. . . .
My bedroom window looks out on a half acre vegetable garden that the Brothers and Sisters tend. Throughout the spring I have had opportunity to observe from my window (and my back yard) the plowing, tilling, planting, watering, weeding – all the tasks that any garden requires. The early crop that the garden yielded this year was strawberries – a banner year for them. For several weeks the picking went on daily and many of us enjoyed the bumper crop of sweet, succulent berries. Sadly, though, the strawberry season has passed, and now the “farmers” are tilling and weeding and watering other parts of the garden while they wait for the next crops to mature and ripen – tomatoes and green beans and carrots and more. How good of God to give the early “earnest” of the super-abundant strawberry crop…a gift, perhaps, to help us while we wait to see how he will provide for us next?
I like June. In June the days are long and sunsets are late, the no-see-ums and green heads haven’t arrived yet, and we can spend time in the garden until 7:30 PM or even later if we have the strength. We had a great gardening night with our next-door neighbor, planting her flower boxes and pots and weeding the garden. Three little boys helped along with two Sisters and a Brother. Working together we got a lot done, and it was followed by fun talk at a meal anchored by yummy hamburgers, Caesar salad, and ice cream bars. What do you like about June?
I love living and gardening on a seashore. One thing that is constant is change–the light, the colors, seasons, tides–always changing, but always beautiful. I’m getting older and I need to remember that change is good, to be flexible and go with the flow, not demanding the status quo.
Some plants won’t grow next to the sea, things that don’t like salt air and wind. Rosa Rugosa isn’t one of them–they are in full bloom–a brilliant red undimmed by the gray fog creeping across the flats. Light and beauty can shine even in the darkness of a day dimmed by sorrow.