This is my first rose of the season, and she’s a beauty. This David Austin rose is Crown Princess Margareta, named after one of the grand daughters of Queen Victoria. I have a small rose garden at my house, nothing compared to the big bed my mother still tends. My mom’s favorite flower is the rose, and she’s instilled that love on most of her children. But roses are finicky, and they require a lot of love. As this photo shows, they are worth the effort.
Over the past few years, I’ve read a book several times over. The book was written by Terry Hershey, and the title is Soul Gardening. It’s a short read, but packed with lots and lots of comparisons between how caring for our soul is similar to the tending of a garden. Hershey talks about cultivating appreciation for the ordinary gifts of grace as you would a bed of shasta daisies. He asks us to focus on the value of solitude, calling the reader to venture to some random corner of their garden and just sit back and enjoy the breeze, the smells, the beauty. Finally Hershey reminds us that nature can heal.
When we work on our gardens, we can, in some sense, make the connection for caring for our souls. A beautiful garden and a peaceful soul take a lot of work. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. According to the back cover, the stories in the book will lead you to nurture your soul and renew your sense of what it means to live the “good life.”
In this fast paced world we live in, its hard to have a nice garden. It takes patience and vision to see a plant in the winter, sitting in the snow, with no life apparent. When I called to tell my mother that my roses were buried under thirty inches of snow, she told me that hers were already leafing out in sunny California. It took a lot to envision the flower above on that winter day, but here it is.
If you’re not a gardener, have no fear. Just take a walk around your neighborhood. You can enjoy the fruits of someone else’s dreams and labors. If you see something that strikes you, ask the person who owns the garden about it. We gardeners love to share knowledge (and plants).
The moral of this story is that souls need tending too. We shouldn’t be afraid to take a look inside, to see what might need to be pruned, or fertilized, and cut out all together. Sometimes the most painful cuts produce the most fruit. A rose bush that goes unpruned will not bear the most beautiful flowers.
Take some time this week and take a walk or drive around your neighborhood. No matter where you live, I’m sure its going to be a beautiful some day or other. Enjoy the show. Be grateful for the eyes to see it.