My flower beds have been a little neglected so far this spring, so I decided to spend about an hour tending to them Tuesday evening after dinner. It was a beautiful evening…about 75 degrees, with a slight breeze. The sun was shining, and the birds were singing. And the best thing…there were no bugs pestering me!
To be quite honest, my flower beds have always been a struggle for me to keep up with. I’ve never quite devoted the time to them that I should to make them look beautiful all spring, summer and fall. These beds were pretty empty when we moved in…that is until Mom helped me. The first fall living here, Mom and I transplanted all sorts of plants from her flower beds into mine. Plants like shasta daisies, iris, lillies, hostas, bleeding hearts, black-eyed susans, daffodils, tulips, and etc. I have considered my flower beds to have always been “our” flower beds…Mom’s and mine ever since.
Mom would come out and help me weed the flower beds and helped me care for the flowers. She loved and knew her flowers! We could walk around a greenhouse for hours! She could look at an empty space in the flower bed, and create a beautiful, colorful masterpiece in that spot with just the right flower. She was an expert! Caring for these flowers together was always a special time we shared…we would have some of the best talks out there working in amongst the flowers. She would spend hours out in her flower beds almost daily in spring and summer. Her flower beds always looked nice and well cared for.
So, Tuesday evening, I began the daunting task of pulling weeds…mostly crabgrass. I absolutely dispise crabgrass…it’s roots seem to go on forever underneath the soil, and it’s not that easy to pull these weeds out. I used a special gardening tool that we picked up a couple years ago to do so. I was beginning to make some progress, at the same time I was getting tired of the work. I began to think, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” And, “This is going to take forever!” Knowing that some of the weeds were attached to the plants mom gave me, especially to the iris bulbs, I caught myself thinking, “I might not have these weeds if I didn’t get them from mom’s plants.”
I immediately stopped. I was saddened of that thought. Tears filled my eyes. How I would have given ANYTHING to have mom with me there at that very moment gardening with me! I immediately had an attitude adjustment…How ungrateful I was to focus on the weeds, and not focus on the flowers she gave me! A BIG part of Mom’s life is in my flower beds!! Who cares about the weeds!? Even if I did get some of these weeds from her flowers, I should be thankful that they were HER weeds! I should consider them special because they came from HER flower beds! How ashamed I was of my earlier thought.
I said a short prayer…something like, “Lord, I’m sorry for my ungrateful thoughts here. Would you please help me to enjoy my flower beds like Mom enjoyed hers?” I kept on pulling and digging, and as I did, it dawned on me what gloves I was wearing. They were Mom’s gardening gloves. I knew they were when I put them on, but suddenly I felt such a peace come over me…it was very weird. I was realizing Mom’s hands used to be in these gloves, doing what she loved the most…caring for her flowers…and now my hands were in them, caring for “our” flowers. I began to look at the weeds, the flowers and the flower beds in a whole new way! I really felt like God showed me that the “torch was being passed on” from Mom to me as I was working in her gloves. (Ok, call me weird, but that’s what I feel God showed me after I prayed!)
I’m not to the point yet where I just can’t wait to go out and dig in the flowers, but my thoughts and attitude are different about my flower beds because of my experience Tuesday night. I will work at it little by little–with wearing her gardening gloves–and will eventually take pride in beautiful flower beds…Mom’s and my flower beds. I will be spending some time in them today and will be thinking of her! 🙂