We’ve had a lovely week of spring weather up here in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Sunday, being Easter was filled with sunshine and temperatures reaching 80 degrees. The gathering time was spent outdoors for the most part, giving way to great conversation and fellowship. By Tuesday, the sun was hiding and torrents of rain fell from heaven. It was as if the tears of God were nourishing every little blade of grass and filling the cups of newly sprung crocus plants. It has been off and on raining for the past two days. Even though it’s raining, you can almost see the world coming to life again.
My husband and I have talked a lot lately about our own personal quiet places, where we can go and talk on a personal level with our Creator. He has always been in love with the outdoors, while I prefer the serenity of the home. I prefer not venturing out into the unknown. Some of my most creative times have occurred right in my own backyard.
About thirty years ago I began a project which consumed most of my waking hours. I began the process of terracing our front yard into a splendid garden. The adventure was often precarious, since it took place on a spanse of two city lots on a very steep hill. Bit by bit and plant by plant, I would cut through the soil and pull all invaders from within. I’d add rock barriers for each terrace and cedar beams as well to frame a patch of daisies or lilies. It became my place of serenity for a long time. In those hours of mindless work, I was coming up with plots for new plays or stories. I could develop the characters with each shovel full of dirt that I turned.
At times the work became more consuming than relaxing. Weeds reared their ugly heads and their tenacious roots went deep. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I could pull a complete intruder in one entire piece My neighbors would watch intently as I traversed across that hill, just waiting for a mistep and an unplanned sommersault. I was covered from head to toe with dirty soil. My gloved hands were filled with holes and had far outlived their usefulness. Passers by would encounter weeds flying through the air with the greatest of ease, and a crazy woman with a straw hat and masked face. I scared off a number of them.
We all have places that beckon to us. They call our name and beg us to become a part of them. For me, it has been my garden. The past few years have produced weakened lungs and continuous allergies, making it nearly impossible to work a garden as it should be. My aging years have taken control of my ability to traverse across anything. Weeds don’t bother me as much anymore, since it’s too hard to get out there and pull them out. My spirit is still willing, but unfortunately, my flesh is weak. I still desire time working in the garden, but realize I have limitations now.
Fortunately, I can still find time to be with my Creator in quiet conversation no matter where I am. Looking out my window and surveying the flowers that persist right alongside the weeds, has taken on a new meaning. I don’t feel the need to fight off trespassers, because I know that it’s all been done for me. The weeds will continue to grow as long as life exists, but I’m convinced that our life never ends. We will flourish when death takes us to our heavenly home.