The Summer I Let my Gardens Die

The summer I let my gardens die is still fresh in my mind because it just happened. That’s right. This past summer I did not tend to the garden plots that usually grow prolifically with strawberries, tomatoes, squash, and herbs.

In fact just the contrary occurred. I watched vermin, wily and pesky squirrels, strip not only the fruits and vegetables from the vines but also the leaves from the crawling butter yellow roses that sprawl across the back stonewall. Now winter magnifies the bleakness.

I didn’t even tend to patio pots nor weed the rose garden spot. In fact, my husband and I pulled up many of our rose bushes and replanted them in the front yard alongside our driveway. They didn’t like this new location and barely grew or bloomed. Now when I look out from my kitchen window, I miss the colors of red wine, summer squash yellow, and cotton candy pink where the roses once stood so tall and proud. Yet even though we chose to make these changes, I sensed this desire to transplant the roses reflected my inner process of making my life more public. Some things would have to die to make room for the new.

Instead of tending my gardens, I spent most of the summer working on my five blogs and a book proposal. I was conscious of the neglect, at first even felt twinges of guilt. But then something eerie occurred. I mentally disdained the former flowers and foliage I’d cultivated for years. I need a change next spring I rationalized; garden neglect is such an uncharacteristic pattern for my usual floral-loving temperament.

Now spring edges closer with spontaneous warm spurts reminding me of the new start required. I find myself lured to walk the parameter and survey the damages. I’ve made a mess of things with my “Let it all die” mentality. It’s going to take a lot of work and money to redo something new I mused.

The other night I dreamed that my best friend and I walked through barren, dry fields with our cameras. Occasionally we would spot purple and yellow crocuses brilliantly blooming. We would call to one another, gather around the flowers, and zoom in with our cameras to get close up shots.

The life of the flowers imparted spirit to our worn out souls, and we giggled like two young schoolgirls once again.

When I awoke from the dream, I googled crocus flowers and found this encouraging reflection:

Unlike most flowers, crocuses bloom in the most adverse conditions. While other flowers need aerated beds and warm weather, crocuses grow best in gritty soil and blossom in early spring, even when snow is still on the ground. http://www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/clarion/yellow-crocus/

Barbie and I began our friendship at the age of fourteen. Throughout our lives, we have supported one another during the most difficult of times. Yet in spite of the sorrow and the pain we have endured, we have learned to “…grow best in gritty soil and blossom in early spring, even when snow is still on the ground.”We both long to discover God’s will for our lives and even dare to let our current dreams die, like my gardens, if this means we might follow our Heavenly Shepherd to difficult places where crocuses peek out from under snowy ground.

Yes, spring is right around the corner and with this season the promise of new life, I feel the urge to garden again. My gardens, just like the crocuses in my dream, will be fresh, new, and full of meaning. Barbie and I anticipate something of deeper meaning to come forth from our souls because we dared to die to what we knew.

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About JoDee Luna

“I’m lost in a love affair with portrait painting!” JoDee Luna confesses. This author, artist, and educator describes herself as a creative eclectic due to her diverse history, multiple talents, and various career pursuits. She enjoys a host of creative expressions: mixed media, mask making, floral designing, photography, sculpture, and gardening. JoDee believes the creative process infuses her with the courage to try on new artistic identities, take inspired risks, and explore imaginative ideas. She seeks to share her insights with others through her book, Refrain from the Identical: Insight and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics and website by the same name, http://refrainfromtheidentical.com. Both provide helpful tips and inspiration for artistic multi-taskers, those who enjoy various forms of artistic expression.
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13 Responses to The Summer I Let my Gardens Die

  1. Rusty says:

    Five blogs? What? Where? Ya mean I’m missin’ out?

    Five blogs, full time teaching, a summer full of vacations, drunkin’ ramblings through wine country, keeping track of children all over the globe, and you can’t keep up your garden? Sheesh. Slacker! 🙂

    Plant some tulips…they come up bright and early.

  2. Ah, the seasons of our lives, how they do revolve and sometimes spin. I, too, have had my life altered to make room for blogging. In fact, the shifting is still in progress. Blessings to you, JoDee…

    • JoDee Luna says:

      Carol, I would love to read about how you’re making the adjustments. That would be very interesting and helpful for me.

      • Changes have occurred over a period of time. I am a caregiver to my husband. He has Alzheimer’s. I spend less time relaxing. I found diversions for my husband to do by himself (not alone but without my participation). He watches documentaries and preaching services on the Internet on our second computer (the second computer is a recent change). I stay up later than he, and I get up earlier. Sometimes I’ll go to bed early and get up in the middle of the night to write. The one thing that I haven’t solved yet is getting in enough writing time on my manuscript. I pray for help in trimming my blog time. This is inevitable as blogs tend to grow. 🙂 Blessings to you, JoDee…

      • JoDee Luna says:

        Carol, thank you for explaining your situation. Your commitment to your husband and to your writing is touching. I complain because of my demanding job as a middle school teacher and yet the challenges you face give me new perspective. You’ve also got me curious about your manuscript. Do you write about this on your blog? I’ve read your poetry but haven’t seen this yet so I’m going to do some exploring. I’m also working on manuscripts and trying to divide my time wisely.

      • Your time is as challenged as mine. I used to work full time and had to quit when my husband needed 24/7 care. I remember how little time there is “after work”. Your heart is filled with the desire to divide your time wisely, and the LORD will help you do it.

        My manuscript must have another round of editing, but I haven’t found time to tackle it. Perhaps the time away from it will freshen my perspective when I get back to it. I haven’t blogged much about it except in comments on other blogs. When it’s ready to query, I’ll begin to promote it more. Blessings on your manuscripts, too, JoDee…

  3. gerknoop says:

    I almost missed this one! Me likey! You need ME there to keep up your garden for you! Love you dear friend…..just love you. B

  4. Relationships, careers, family, gardens — all the growing things in our lives that require tending, but also the resilient things in our lives that can take a little neglect.

    Keep growing!

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