Saturday, May 07, 2011

Planting Loveliness

My bedroom window faces east. It is where I start each day, looking over the new horizon into the morning’s sunrise. I keep the blinds open so my day begins with light and warmth, and from the moment my eyes open, I feel blessed to have a new opportunity.

The other night I was standing in my front yard, just beyond that window, teetering between practicality and my heart’s yearning. It’s the first time in twenty years that spring has come without a permanent place to plant my flowers. It takes a few years to really establish a flower bed and each spring finds me searching for the first shoots of my perennials. It’s disheartening to realize that like everything else in my life at this point, I have to start over. I’ve told myself that there is no need to plant flowers this year. After all, this place is probably temporary and there’s a good chance I won’t be living here next spring.

But then I walked to the corner of the house and kneeling down, hidden under the green leaves and thorns, I saw the loveliest blooms of wild roses. I was delighted to find that just beneath that bedroom window lay a thing of beauty. I had no idea they were there. There too, beneath the brambles of the past few months, is a heart that still loves, still feels joy, still wants to build a home where loveliness lives. It's time to start planting and growing and living again. I still have the wonderful life that I've always had. It's simply a new chapter in an ever-changing story.

Idle bricks from a former tenant were stacked by the garage and they soon became my border. A trip to town reaped impatiens, marigolds and salvia. How could I not? It is a part of me, a part of my past and one I’m not willing to leave behind. And I've realized that everything is temporary, no matter how much we want to think it is ours. The secret – and the joy – isn’t in the possession; it’s making every place, every thing, every person we touch better and more beautiful because we paused beside them for awhile.

“If of thy mortal gifts that art bereft,
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone, to thee are left;
Sell one and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”