FIRMLY PLANTED ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
Spring is near, winter is winding down.
This year, for the first time I can remember, I’m sorry to see winter go. The prospect of 100 degree heat, typical of our summers, is a dreaded thought. This has been a good winter in my book. I’ve only had to cover my babied succulents about three times, and the number of sunny yet cool days has been amazing. As far as the rainy ones….well, it’s hard for a plant lover to complain about rain.
Like it or not, everything moves forward, including the seasons, and, sooner or later, it will be hot again. But there’s always a bright side. For me, one facet of that is swimming—something I rarely did for years until last summer when it suddenly became a near obsession. The thought of immersion in cool, clear, clean, miraculous liquid where gravity loses its grip took on a new appeal. I longed for it…I imagined having a pool—I even put a critical eye to the back yard to see if I could somehow create a little swimming hole, but there is just no place for it.
I haven’t been able to spend much time in the prayer garden, and I feel it. Even though there were many perfect days for working outside, other things demanded attention. The tasks of raking, pulling weeds, pruning and clipping, and other garden-tending tasks occupy my hands but seem to open my mind and heart to receive from God. I often looked longingly out the window, but had to go the other direction.
Things are coming into focus even as I write this…sometimes it’s good to be pulled away from the things my heart longs for, from the things I really want to do, because, quite honestly, even those things can become stale. Going the other direction, a direction not so much chosen as required, reminds me that I’m not living for myself. My life is interrupted by demands. My life is interrupted by circumstances. My life is interrupted by weather, events, sickness, tragedy, celebrations, barking dogs and a myriad of things; but, most of all, my life is interrupted by the lives of others.
I’ll have more time in the prayer garden soon, where I connect with God in grounded earthiness. Time away has sharpened my desire and brought renewed appreciation for the work. More importantly, I’m more settled in the fact that God is involved in every facet of my life, whether it’s the joys or woes of the season, or the interruptions of Life that surely come from his hand.