Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: What really withers in the sun

It is dry.

Grass crunches, crackles beneath our feet and the setting strong summer sun as we tend to watering two needy gardens.

Weeks of scorching sun and thick heat transformed the spring greens from lush to tan to brown.

We don't water our grass during drought, John and I decide when the watering restrictions come out full force in our community; we conserve for the brand-new plants just transplanted into front beds and the vegetables that are fighting their way to peak faces toward the sun.

The Ficus bush is suffering, flashing us timid warning signs of browning leaves and drooping branches. So are some of the long thin blades of prairie grasses. Honestly, nothing is thriving and everything is screaming for water and attention and care and nutrients.

We power through the evenings after our little seedlings are tucked into bed and the dishes are cleaned and the house is picked up and the emails are responded to and business is given its needs and expend extra care in the front yard, trying to keep alive what's struggling against the harshest of elements.

I smile after weeks of tender care when everything greens and explodes in growth; we leave for a weekend confident that our plants are strong enough to make it two nights without our hands, garden hoses hovering.


It is dry; arid words hang still in the cooled night air. Our children slumber in the next room and we stare out at the lake, exhaustion heavy in our bodies and minds.

Without many more words, we retire to the cabin and into sleep promising to talk and connect the next day during the drive home.

But children clamor and traffic fights for my driver's attention and we lose shoes during pit stops and thoughts mid sentence and the elements win again.


What just two days ago boasted tiny bright yellow flowers now has crisped brown.

The St. John's Wort bushes take me by surprise as we pull up to our house, as I thought they were making it it, doing so well, blooming.

But two days. Just two days under intense heat and sun without water for two nights has left two of the five struggling to survive.

The sun, the dry, the wind storm that produced no rain, were just too much to withstand without tender care.

I all but jump out of the car, run to their aid with water and careful pruning, pulling away the weeds that could be sucking any of their nutrients and return inside frustrated and tired.

It's a week of craziness but with cooler temperatures.Thankfully, all the garden plants are all thriving again expect for the struggling St. John's Wort bushes that we just cannot seem to bring back to life.

And I am thankful for the plants that are green and beautiful and growing because the week demands full attention in other places almost every day of the week.

Every day John and I wake up and plant already-moving feet to carpet and sink sleepily into the mattress at night, thinking that maybe the next night will give opportunity to connect and talk and look into each other's open eyes for more than five seconds before closing lashes prevail.


They don't come back.

The bushes.

They don't revive. They stand almost completely brown, threatening to completely wither away, all signs of flower long faded.

I reel the hose and walk inside the house, surprised to find John standing in the living room instead of wrangling two little monkeys into states of sleep.

My eyes wander into the kitchen with the dinner dishes in the sink, greeting stains on the counter and laundry in a basket begging to be folded and put away.

But I see him more and though there are no signs of distress, the elements have been oppressive these past few weeks.

Now I know what happens in drought to even the strongest of plants if care isn't given daily attention.

And I'm not willing to let our roots go dry, flowers die, branches wither away.


So we water

we feed

we weed

and we welcome the flowers

to bloom from bud,

bright and vibrant

and alive.

Simple BPM
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  1. So, so true.
    Taking this post and stuffing it into my pocket to keep with me. We might need a little tending to around here... thank you.

  2. Oh, this is so good. "Now I know what happens in drought to even the strongest of plants if care isn't given daily attention. And I'm not willing to let our roots go dry, flowers die, branches wither away." I couldn't have said it better myself. Whether it's marriage, parenting, or my walk with Him, each relationship needs daily attention or those roots will all too soon dry up. I love all your plant metaphors and the way that God's creation always seems to explain a life truth better than anything else.

  3. This gives me cotton mouth just reading it. Here's to hoping you give and receive nourishing and replenishment so everything blooms brightly once more.

  4. I get this in such a big way. We were gone for a week sister and I can tell you that my front flowers are fried. But then there are the 11 planted pots and only 3 are toast. So with God's grace 8 have been salvaged. And I've been putting everything I have into them to get them to thrive.

    Its important to care for and put "everything into" something that is worth watching survive.


  5. Jade had it exactly right...I have cotton mouth reading this.

  6. Is 40: 8 "The grass withers, the flower fades , but the Word of our Lord will stand forever" You always make me think of scripture with your beautiful heart felt words :) thinking of you several times this week and wishing for another heart to heart visit!

  7. Oh, yes...I think that when the hubs gets back some "tending" is in order. Thanks for the reminder that everything in life needs to be nourished.

  8. Beautifully put. The malnourished vegetation all around us is visible, but many elements of our lives that cry out for much needed nurturing do so in much subtler ways. I love this reminder to tend to the brown, crunchy leaves in our hearts as well as our yards. Thank you!

  9. So beautiful. It's tough to handle everything in a crisis so we start with the most important and work our way down, even if our instincts is to start with the most critical...I know, I ignored deadlines and kitchen being overcome by ants to sit on the porch and just chat with Big G, because it needed to be done...


There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.