About three weeks ago, my first bulb catalogue came in. For a gardener, it’s like seeing the first Christmas merchandise roll into the stores after Labor Day. I’m not quite ready to think about it yet. I took this photo of these single late tulips this past spring. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the name, and wouldn’t you know it, they’re not included in this year’s catalogue. I know I’m not thinking about it, but what’s wrong with a quick look?
I’m reading a book right now called Close To The Heart: A Guide To Personal Prayer. The part I read today caused me to remember these beautiful flowers in my back yard. Here’s what Margaret Silf wrote,
“If only I could have my life again, choose a different job, a different lifestyle, begin again, knowing what I know now…”
Almost everyone indulges in this daydream from time to time. When I feel these thoughts coming on, a short respite in my innermost garden helps me see things rather differently. For instance, sometimes “spring bulbs” tell me their story – of being buried beneath a suffocating weight of the clay. There in the clay that is cold, wet, dark and lonely. But at the same time deadening clay is the provider of the bulbs’ nutrition all through the unobserved growing months. From them I see that the circumstance we so often long to escape is the very place, and the only place, that can provide the means of our growth and bring us to the moment of rebirth in due season.
For so many of us, we’re always looking for ways to quickly escape our present circumstances. Our lives are filled with the thought “if only…” In this excellent book, the author reminds us that, if at all possible, we should be content with our present circumstances, trying to see the positive, instead of dwelling only on the negative.
If I decided to plant my bulbs in pots, and then keep those pots inside through the winter, fearing that the weather would be too hard on them, I would have no flowers the following spring. The bulbs need the winter freeze to bloom their best when the weather warms.
I trust in the fact that there are times when just being open to change and new growth is all that is asked of us. Eventually, that fresh start, a transformation, or that new life we long for will come to us, but it will happen in due season. As Matthew 6:28 reminds us, “look at the lilies of the field…”