Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: To Grow

They follow close behind me, like short shadows beneath a glowing, high midday sun, making small footprints in the muddy soil their father worked tirelessly to till, sweat dripping as to make new land that was overgrown and bursting with weeds and overgrown, overbearing brush and bushes.


We'd been in the front gardens just moments prior, watering and weeding and laboring, trying to tenderly care for yet more recently sown plants -- these native wildflowers and grasses and bushes -- before I had to usher them away from the delicate leaves and stems.

The native plants haven't been thriving and they simply couldn't take another round of small garden hands {and their big feet}.

With all the new plants we've been sowing, there is no break from the call of care; I'd hoped my boys would get distracted by the play fort in the backyard so I could tend to at least the vegetable garden alone, but no such luck.

I warn them several times to watch out for the new plants we've just dug and patted into the ground. But I think my heedings have been lost amid the excitement of gardening, two little garden hands drunk off of the fresh Earth and fresh air of late spring.

The youngest nearly takes out a tomato plant with his new big-kid, bounding feet and the oldest almost steamrolls the squash with the garden hose.

"Could you two pul-ease JUST STOP?!" I cry in a burst of desperation.

My frustration floods their little ears like they just moments prior had flooded the peppers with mounds of water from the hose.

The small one lets loose a dam of tears streaming from his cheeks and into the dirt.

It clicks for the oldest and he knowingly ushers his younger brother from the dirt, sensing that mommy might really lose her cool if one more seedling is damaged or crushed or drowned beneath the flood gates of a full stream of water to the leaves.

I stop the flow of the hose and pull damp gloves from my hands.

"Guys," I say, "it's just that we've got to be careful with the plants both here and out front. They are still growing. We could crush them if we're not careful and --"

Oh, I breath out.

I abandon words midsentence, and I look at my seedlings, small, sitting together atop of the little white side table near the edge of the garden, the older one's arm around his tearful brother.

My voice softens, and they look at me as I quietly, swiftly draw nearer to them.

"Babies. The plants are like babies. You have to be gentle with them like you would with babies because they are small and delicate and still growing," I say.

The oldest nods and my little offers forgiveness in a smile.

We tread tenderly into the dirt, stand leg to leg, gazing at our plants. I offer silent praise for my seedlings, all of them.


"It's hard to grow things," I say.

My oldest smiles, knowingly.

Cultivating beauty, fruit takes work and gentle care.

Both in the garden

and out.


**** 


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8 comments:

  1. Did you take up that sod? We've been doing that here but not near as neat as that in your photo! It is HARD work! We still have a few beds to do. The bright side is we won't have to do it next year...unless we move...which I hope not but one never knows!

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  2. Oh, their tender, delicate souls. So many parallels here - I love that this moment actually takes place in your garden! Your tender care of both will yield its fruit!

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  3. How many times I have I experienced just this thing. The words are coming out of my mouth before I even hear the real meaning behind them. You touched that part of me where my longing to mother well and true limitations meet.

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  4. oh, what a lesson in parenting you give us! How beautifully God has given us gardening as such a symbol of life and growth and raising families. "They are still growing..." Oh how true. We all are, still growing. And because of His grace we learn as we go.

    Thanks for this, Hy. Your honesty and the lesson shared.

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  5. Oh, this is so good. I find myself so often getting frustrated with my daughter's dramatic outbursts and sensitive spirit...until I look in the mirror and realize she is just.like.me. It is so convicting and reminds me to treat her tenderly the same way my husband and my God cares for me and my needs. Thank you for this, for your honesty and this lesson I also need to be reminded of - that these little ones are growing and I need to nurture and care for them carefully and lovingly just like those little plants of yours.

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  6. Beautiful Pic of your Cuties !!!! That turtle loves living with his new family !

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  7. My goodness, what a moment! So rarely do things really catch us in the face like that, but what a powerful moment of learning when they do. It is hard to grow things. You're doing a beautiful job.

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  8. I love this one!!!! Soooooo true.

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