It seems I write about gardening quite a bit in this space. Not that I’m an expert, but I just enjoy getting dirt under my fingernails, and seeing immediate results. Besides, don’t you think we can learn a lot about life while kneeling? On so many levels!
This time of year is when I’m mostly moving old stuff out of the way so the new stuff can emerge. My iris bulbs need to feel the sunshine to encourage them to grow and display their beautiful potential. So, with the “help” of my very friendly Corgi, I pulled out all the old dead leaves, removed some overly enthusiastic clover, and tried to make room for the lovely green stalks that will soon appear. My pansies still look bright and cheerful. They loved the cold weather. By snapping off some dead blooms they’ll last a little longer before the heat of summer discourages them.
There is pleasure in removing un-necessary stuff, in order to emphasize the beauty in your life. After only a few hours of bending, stretching and pushing hair out of your eyes, you can stand back and see that all is well, ready for the next chapter of Flower Bed 101. That is, if you haven’t taken on more than you can handle.
I’ve heard that some personality types have trouble with this process. There’s been talk lately about collectors and hoarders. I don’t think I’m a collector. Purchase and protect many items that are so valuable you can’t even open the packages? That’s not me. Hoarders tend to keep useless items, and reject efforts to organize or purge anything. No, I think I’m more like a “maybe-I’ll-use-it-againer.” Hard to let go of something that may come in handy. My husband has a very sensible time limited approach to these things. But, just the other day, I made a really cute card with some stickers I had stashed away in my scrapbooking drawer. See, one never knows! To return to the gardening theme, I do have some remnants of last year’s flowers tucked away on the side of the house. What if they “volunteer” to bloom again? I might need those plastic pots some time. Okay, maybe I do have hoarding tendencies after all.
It’s so much easier if you have limited your scope, and are only trying to tend to your own patch of weeds. When we were young, we seemed to be all about expanding our territory. More, bigger, prettier, better than anyone else’s were the watchwords. As we matured, though, we began to recognize that our idea of happiness and beauty might not match another person’s exactly. We became comfortable and content, and gradually began to de-emphasize some things that just didn’t seem important. Not that we don’t enjoy our neighbor’s front yard display. We just prefer our own.
So, we set about taking care of what we have. We try our best to learn all we can, and use the recommended methods to maintain and improve. Sometimes, regardless of how careful we are, unexpected menaces creep in. Where they actually originate is not that important. They could come in with the wind, or be carried by a wayward bird. The bottom line is, if they are threatening the things we treasure, we want them gone. So, we call in experts, and trust their advice. We weigh their recommendations, and might even ask for a second opinion. But once we’ve determined our course, we forge ahead, trusting that with God’s help, things will turn out for the best.
Yes, thinning, prioritizing, purging are all worthwhile activities. It’s a good feeling to be able to stand back, take a look and say, “It may be a mess, but it’s my mess.” So, bring on the weeds. We’ve been told we’ll never get more than we can handle, and I’m trusting in that promise.