Lately, I find myself reflecting on the creativity of nature and the similarity of thoughts and seeds. Whenever I plant a sunflower seed in my small patio garden, I can rest assured that the germinated seed will produce a sunflower. So too will the thoughts I focus on produce their own likeness, and whether they are deemed desirable or undesirable depends on the quality of my thoughts. It is important to choose my thoughts carefully so that what springs forth in my life is as dependable and desirable as what flourishes in my garden.
In joyous anticipation of partnering with nature, I pick up my pruning shears and trowel and head for my small back patio garden to view the results of the Southwest desert's harsh triple-digit temperatures. Despite appropriate care, some potted plants have not survived, much like some of my misplaced thoughts and desires. I bless them and with a sigh, scoop them up and recycle them into the earth.
I am heartened though that while some umbrella plants are brown half-way to the base of their sword-like leaves, they are still alive and worthy of continuing attention and care. I know that with judicial pruning, some plant food and lower temperatures they will have a rebirth and soon settle in -- healthy and strong for the milder winter months.
It is with great pleasure that I notice the gentle breeze that cools my brow and plays a melody on the chimes. I survey the healthy green of the large jasmine bush and the heavenly bamboo that long ago sent down their roots deep into the earth. They can easily withstand the summer heat and the cold of winter.
I realize that many of us also seek to anchor our trust and faith into something greater than we are that will sustain us and enable us to not only survive but to thrive despite the traumas, trials and tribulations of life.
For sentimental reasons, I usually plant red tulip bulbs in pots and place them in a box of sawdust in the garage to prepare them for an early blooming period in a process known as "forcing."
Each time the brilliant red tulips reach full bloom in the still-cold days of winter, I honor the many flowering plants that have "nursed" me through trying times in my life. They serve as gentle reminders to my yearning heart that spring will eventually burst forth once again in all of its full frolicking, rollicking and riotous splendor.
While surveying the ravages of summer on some of the plants, I realized I finally understood my late husband's seemingly blasé approach to flower and vegetable gardening. As a master gardener as well as a practical person, he would give the seeds and sprouts all the tender loving care necessary for optimal growth and then say, "Shape up or ship out."
He gave them every chance to survive, but when it became obvious that they weren't going to make it -- into the compost pile they went. I now find this not only a well-reasoned approach to the mysterious vagaries of plant survival, but to the choices we make in life. If our thoughts-decisions bring good results, excellent. If not, we uproot them and choose new ones.
I was initiated into the joys of gardening in childhood by my grandmothers and my favorite uncle, and my lifelong interest was matched by that of my late husband. They taught me that nature is the true language of our being, and that we can learn from it whatever we need to know about life.
The invitation is always there for us to draw near the bosom of nature. If we lean close and listen, we can hear the serenade of God, and know that we are part of Creation and one with all life ... dissolving all fears.
Copyright 2012 by Fern Stewart Welch