Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ponderings whilst Gardening....

Today I weeded my back flower bed and removed all the pine needles that I use to mulch the more delicate plants and keep them from freezing. Although we live in Southern California, the elevation of nearly 4000 feet means we get COLD: we were down to 13 this winter, the coldest even some of the old-timers remember.

As I was beginning to tire, I reached forward to pull off a thick layer of dry, brown pine needles, and I uncovered the plant pictured above. And I began to think....

Some less patient gardeners would pull up this sorry little lavender, unwilling to wait and see if it will grow and eventually flourish. They're much happier in replanting a perfect lavender from Home Depot and having "instant success." Now I've never been a patient person, but gardening is teaching me otherwise. Last year I found this same little plant in just the same condition: half brown and dead, but with a twinkle, a tiny promise of green. I decided to leave it be, to wait and see. Sure enough, more and more green appeared, and by mid-summer it was two feet tall with purplish-blue spikes of bloom that the butterflies flocked to continually. So I've learned by experience to be patient with my garden, to give even an apparently dead plant a chance because Nature certainly is capable of surprising us.

Then I thought about how this little lavender's plight parallels that of some people I know. When I first looked at them, I thought that it wasn't worth the effort of cultivating a friendship with them. But with closer exposure, I could see the little growths of green that promised a future. So with hope and prayer, I continued the acquaintance, willing to give the time needed, and a friendship eventually blossomed. As it is with little lavender sprouts, so it is with the sprouts of friendship; all that's needed is a little hope and a willingness to wait and see.

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