Saturday, April 18, 2009

Life in Bloom

It's a beautiful spring day, so what better to do than to sit inside updating the blog, growing pale and stooped like a troll?

Actually, I'm just taking a break from outside while the boys sleep (or at least play quietly) upstairs. I spent the morning meeting my stated goal of putting things in the ground and making them grow. Observe:
See? I planted stuff and it has not yet died. It's been in the ground a good three-four hours.

Because I do this blog now, I'm always looking for something else to write about besides the usual behavior/poop/boobs/Owenisms blahblahblah. I started to think about what I can learn from my plants. This is the result.

I've learned that with plants, as with parenting, sometimes it's best to leave things alone. If you notice the bamboo plant above, it looks droopy and unhappy. This happened right around the same time that I decided to water it and clean the three-inch crust of dust off its leaves. Likewise, Owen was at the park yesterday and he and his friend, Adrie, were starting to bicker about sand. Adrie's wise mother said, "Let them sort it out," which they did without any tears or bloodshed. Lesson learned: sometimes less attention is the best attention.
I was at the nursery and decided to buy this Columbine on impulse. It's a shame that Columbine will forever be linked in my mind to the tragedy in Littleton, which marks its ten-year anniversary this Monday.

The Columbine is the state flower of Colorado, my mother's home state. My mom had loving parents, but her father was an alcoholic and her mother was co-dependent. My mother, thankfully, had an adopted family in her church youth group. They would often go hiking in the Rockies.

She told me, once, that she knew that God could do anything for her, because of what He does with mountain flowers. On one of her youth group hikes, she saw a Columbine flower growing horizontally out of a rock, strong and blooming. It was thriving without soil, in the cold, mountain air, despite all the odds.

She said, "I mean, if God decided to make flowers that strong, just imagine how strong He can make you, if you just trust in Him?"

I think of Mom every time I see that plant. (By the way, wouldn't it be a pisser if I managed to kill it?)
You need to give things room to grow. This plant was in a Dixie cup for the first two years of its life, until I finally transferred it to this pot. It reaches for the sun, grateful to stretch, grow, thrive. Likewise, right after Joel was born, Owen would be so angry during naptime that he would throw things at the wall and holler like he was in pain. It took me awhile to realize that he was angry that he had no toys in his room. He felt like a prisoner. We gave him more freedom, and for awhile, he would happily play himself to sleep.

I love surprises. The first spring that we lived here, it was fun to see that the former owner had planted bulbs. Every April, I thank her again for making my world a little brighter. She didn't know it, but by planting these tulips, she planted joy.

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