Finding Hope in the Garden

I am not a gardener, well at least not compared to my mother. She, as I have written before, had a passion for plants and an inherent talent in growing them that I do not possess. Granted, I do love flowers, and have spent many happy evenings this spring walking through a local botanical garden with a dear friend.

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Daffodils outside the park

However, my own garden leaves a lot to be desired – unless you really love weeds. Living in the country, it seems there is a hardier variety of unwanted plants and vines that can take over an entire area overnight. Though I’ve gone through fits and starts of trying to tame it in the last thirteen years, for the last few I’ve done next to nothing.

Then recently, I couldn’t take it anymore and started ripping out the ivy, mint and other weeds that have overtaken my flower beds. The kid who mows our lawn was due over that weekend and I wanted to feel less embarrassed by the jungle that is my yard.

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Hidden in all that ivy is a gorgeous rose bush

In doing so, I was thrilled to find a small columbine plant that was sending up a bud through the thick cover of weeds. This motivated me to carefully weed around it, pulling up anything that could threaten its precious existence. Suddenly, I was excited about my garden again and went off to purchase some other flowers to plant.

So imagine my disgust, anger and heartbreak when I got home and the plant was GONE! Our young landscaper thought he was helping me out by weed-eating the previously overgrown flower bed. In doing so, he cut my beautiful baby columbine TO THE GROUND. No evidence of it remained other than an few confetti-size pieces of its leaves.

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From now own, this plant will be known as “Hope”

That was two and a half weeks ago. Today, my little columbine has rebounded by growing back and putting forth a single new bud. Despite being left for dead, it rebounded back into life and is doing its best to live out its botanical destiny. I’m even more excited than before to see that lone little flower open and bloom.

Isn’t it amazing how plants will grow in the most unexpected places and after times of struggle and apparent destruction? If this little flower can spring forth with such perfectly beautiful growth – and even a flower – after nearly  being destroyed, shouldn’t people be able to do the same?

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Dutch Iris hides in another part of the yard

The answer of course if yes and no. We can if we simply allow nature to move us forward in the way that was intended. This sometimes means we have to get out of our own way, to break down or move whatever is blocking our light or draining our resources. As humans we have a tendency to overthink and over analyze every nuance of what knocked our legs out from under us. But using the columbine as an example, I think that the best thing we can do is to just start reaching back towards the light in our lives and stop being afraid to bloom.

Do whatever you can to blossom where you are and however you can today. You never know who you might be giving hope to by doing so.


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