There once was a woman who loved to create beautiful things from the earth. Each year she’d long for the winter cold to vanish so she could lay seeds in the ground and watch them grow. She loved to pull the weeds – feeling a sense of accomplishment when the long tendrils came forth from the soil – knowing they would be gone for a long time.
One year, the snows were still evident when a new weed came to life. It was like one never seen before. It was so great that it would eventually overwhelm the entire world. So much so that the people were required to stay in their own dwellings and only venture out for necessities.
For those who enjoyed their privacy and tended to be introverts, it was the perfect world. For those who were extroverts it was like being condemned to a prison cell. The closeness of everyone under the same roof was nice for a while, but the woman who loved to dig in the dirt was now sentenced to stay out of the garden as well.
Though she loved seeing new growth take place and tending the terra firma was her escape from the cares of the world, her allergies would keep her indoors until the middle of May. For her, the order to stay at home, meant staying inside as well.
She’d often stare out the window as each perfect day brought grass to life, flowers through the darkness of death into the living. She watched from afar as perennials, shrubs and trees blazoned with the freshness of spring.
She began to feel sorry for herself. Her time was wasted on watching old movies. She turned to food for solace. She yearned to see her children, her students and those she loved. She tried to be creative with other things, but her garden beckoned her and she felt cheated by not being able to tend it. She dwelt on the past. She turned more and more inward each day.
One day, the rains came. The earth burst open as the sky poured its tears into it. The refreshing waters cleaned all the pollen and mold from the air. At last she would be released from her self-imposed incarceration.
Each week, stay at home orders were lifted. The disease was fading away, but the illness that filled the girl’s heart remained. By the time she could tend to her garden, the weeds had infiltrated and seized some of her prized plants. Still, she got on her hands and knees and began to dig. She pulled weeds, turned the soil, added fertilizer, waited and watched as she had for several months from her window. She felt the energy of the dirt under her fingernails. In no time, the flowers burst into brilliant colors. The fragrance of lilacs and lily of the valley filled the air.
While down on her knees, she looked to the sky and thanked God for giving her another day – another year – more time to bring beauty to a battered world. She was here for a purpose. She’d been spared the dreaded disease. She’d been given her freedom and knew that life would continue in spite of things in the world. It made her heart happy.
The planet she once knew was changing in many ways. People learned to communicate in unique ways. They learned to value the little things in life. They relied on God and each other. Hugs returned. It was the start of something that could become an amazing gift. Would it be squandered or allowed to grow, like the woman’s garden? Or would the weeds return and cause it to go back to what it was?