May 16, 2013


I love gardening. In our last house, I had several roses that I spent time with and made much of. When we bought this house, I had a curious (though compliant) one-year-old. By the time he was 3, I had a new baby. I've been able to have annuals or veggies here and there, but nothing too substantial. When I dream, it's of time and space (and budget) enough to have a true backyard (and front and side and window and indoor) garden.

Yesterday was part of a promise to myself. With small children in tow, I went to a local nursery. I bought their last climbing rose and some fiesta red impatiens, paid the asked for amount (remembered why not every one is willing to pay for roses; ay-yi-yi), and came home. Last night I got to have dirt therapy, for the first time in a LONG time. My rose is ensconced in the back yard, centered on a panel of the fence. As it grows, my aim is to train the canes to run along the fence. Beauty for metal, instead of ashes.

I held off for so long on getting even a single rose because I'd really like to be somewhere else. This is the longest I've lived anywhere since I was a kid, and I'm getting restless. The comparative life in our world goes down so easily: I'd like a house with this, I want a yard like X has, I'd prefer to live in such-and-such state or with view Y. It's rare to hear someone say they want what they already have.

When a gardener plans to transplant something, he/she hardens off the plant. They give it less water, dig up roots and surrounding dirt to ball it in burlap (for larger plants), and wait for it to be less dependent on its surroundings. I finally realized that NOT planting much here was my way of hardening myself off. See, God? No roots. Few attachments. I'm ready to go!

The truth is that no rose or lack of one will have more effect on "making" God do anything. I'm only depriving myself of the joy of gardening in the meantime--and I continue longer in the mistaken belief that my actions have any ability to compel the God of the universe into anything, as though I could back him into a corner. If a rose garden I love is here, the One who knows and loves me is perfectly capable of moving me wherever I need to be--and having a rose garden waiting for me when I get there.

I don't want my gardening to wait until some other place, so yesterday I bought a rose. I've already been out this morning to check on it, reminded of God's care of so many 'gardens' himself.

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