I woke up this morning feeling every bit my age. You see, I spent the entire day yesterday in my garden. Spring is here and the weather is mild and that’s the time of year I get antsy to dig in the dirt! I’ve been expanding and nurturing my garden over the last two years and this is the year I finally get to the fun stuff – flowers!
I’ve planted flowers off and on, but this year all my trees and shrubs are in place, settled happily into their locations throughout my garden, so it’s time to add some color. Lots of color!
Sitting in my office with the window open, I can hear the birds and watch the butterflies float by. I can smell the profuse star jasmine as it finally blooms and spills over the walkway that my neighbors pass as they walk their dogs or stop by for a chat. It’s quite lovely!
But the view from my office is mostly grass and the back side of jasmine so I’m ready for color. I decided that I would plant things that made me smile and gave me joy as I stare out the window. So I spent the day digging and fertilizing and planting over 50 plants all around my front yard.
Now, my garden is not terribly large, but in my mind it’s the perfect size. I’ve managed to pack a lot into this little patch of earth! I’ve always loved the gentle chaos of English gardens so if I were to explain the style of my garden to you, that’s what I’d call it. When I spent time in England and Scotland many years ago, I decided right then and there that some day I would recreate that same eclectic beauty in my own garden.
The things that I love about my garden are the colors and smells and the winged visitors that stop by. There are multiple types of butterflies that flutter about from flower to flower and all sizes of birds that come by for a quick snack of worms or grubs. Their movements in and around my garden bring life to the space and I love it!
I love the bright yellow and white of the Snapdragons, the deep purple of the Lobelia and Royal Velvet Supertunias. The handsome stalks of Veronicas and Salvias, along with the Butterfly Bush, have this wonderful habit of bending in the wind like a stately dance. And the sweet smelling Alyssum makes me think of my grandma’s house.
I suppose if I were to sum up what it is about a garden that makes my heart smile and gives my soul peace is that a garden takes all of the senses to really enjoy. And you have to slow down to take it all in; pass by too quickly and you could miss it completely!
Have you every stopped to think about how perfectly God created us to enjoy nature? Some animals rely on only one or two senses to survive. But God created mankind with the ability to interact with His creation on multiple levels. We can smell the sweet flowers and pungent garlic plants. We can see the soft green grass and the bright colored blooms bursting from each stem. The sound of bees buzzing and birds singing are part of the choir of nature. The thorns on the bougainvillea are very real and not nearly as lovely to touch as the velvety hydrangea flowers or gently peeling bark of the birch trees. And strawberries and tomatoes and zucchini never taste as good as when picked warm from your own garden!
When God created man, He placed him in the middle of a garden; not in the corner suite of the downtown skyscraper; not in a ratty tent under a freeway overpass; but in the middle of creation’s finest display of the very best God had been imagining since time began! A garden!
I’ve always known that God is the ultimate artist, but my little garden reminds me daily that He paints with more than just color. He uses all the senses He created in me to paint a world that shows me just how much He loves me.
So as you go about your busy day, wherever it may take you, make sure to inhale once in a while and take in the heady aromas of God’s creation; slow down long enough to notice the tiny bloom in the crack of the sidewalk; lift up your head and feel the sun’s warmth on your face and really savor your first bite into that fuzzy summer peach! God is such a good Father and He only wants the best for you and me!
Thank you, Father, for all You do for me – the things that I notice and the things I don’t. Help me do a better job of noticing and to live with a grateful heart always!