Lessons from the garden: on brown wrappings

Her:  “Did you consider that it might be protection?”
Me *sniffling* “mmm…what?”
Her:  Maybe there is purpose in that situation ending.

On that day, I just wanted to cry… but yesterday down on my knees, with the damp earth seeping through my jeans, the words of my wise friend echoed in my heart.

It might be protection.

There is purpose.

new mums small

I get so excited for this time of year in the garden ~ the spring clean-up after the fall clean-up.  The fall clean up is a tucking in, but this, this is like opening a package.  Like welcoming a new baby.  Old growth, left for winter interest, is making way for the new. Like a deep breath of air right after it rains; all feels fresh, crisp and clean.

Ubiquitous cup of coffee in hand, I took inventory.

* Leaves & trash out of beds
* Move trellis
* Trim the crape myrtles
* Too much to do in one day, just start…

And then it was time… to tend and be in the quiet of birdsong, earth and thought.  As I gently pushed back crunchy brown leaves to uncover the seem-to-be-dead-but-not-really-perennials, I heard her again, “Did you consider it might be protection?” The wind blew, and I continued lifting leaves, like little blankets, off of the truth that, the scenario I thought was breaking my heart, was simply a cycle.  One that I can welcome not fight.  Situations fall to the ground and feel like death.  The tears are real, but the endings circle around to the next beginning.   I love uncovering the buds and bits of green because it’s like uncovering my dormant heart.  Those little buds infuse me with hope.  “Maybe there is purpose in the situation’s ending.” Maybe, oh, maybe…

new growth small

Winter is ending ~ Spring is coming.

I am new growth in a brown package;
hope wrapped in last year’s fallen dreams.

By |2016-10-19T14:20:37-04:00February 27th, 2011|Lessons from the garden|7 Comments

Easter meditations


blossoms right

It’s been a full, full, full April… and it’s only the wee hours of the 4th day.  Feels like all of this month’s 30 days of life and drama have been packed into the first few days.  There’s been a lot of the kind of activity that requires long distance phone calls and extensive to-do lists and a surprise visit to Mom.  So, as introverts are wont to do I began to slow my pace and outside interactions.  {as best I could…}

This past week, I canceled several scheduled appointments and shifted things in and around the unexpected.   But I know that at the end of the day, for me, survival in seasons of busyness {especially when there is a surprise element} requires down-time.  Not shut down, simply a few extra minutes of quiet in the morning or a brief cup of tea with a book in the middle of the afternoon.  It can mean the world.

One of my mini-retreats was a brief stop at the park down the street around sunset on Friday as I’d noticed that the dogwoods were beginning to bloom.

blossoms new

new blossom left

blossoms at sunset

When I got home, I was refreshed and tackled more of the huge to-list.  {with a short rabbit-trail to research the folklore of the dogwood.}  Interesting little tree with super hard wood.  According to the gardening site paghat.com, “The name is believed to be a corruption of an old Celtic word, dag or dagga, sharing the same root as ‘dagger’.”  A dagge was any pointed tool, and daggawood was so hard that it could be used to fashion innumerous useful objects.

I also found  out that the dogwood is considered to be a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ.  The bracts from the blossom form a cross whose coloration is stained on the end by nail marks with the center of the flower forming a “crown of thorns”.  The tree’s red berries stand for the blood of Christ.

Nice for the trees to time their blooms so perfectly.  Nice for the sun to shine so beautifully.  These images taken on Good Friday now have a deeper meaning .  And the cross {the empty cross} that I wear daily will be celebrated with family today.

dogwood blossom

He is risen.

By |2016-10-19T14:20:40-04:00April 4th, 2010|photography|1 Comment