I have decided to become a gardener. This is a rather life-changing decision for me, as I am a card-carrying member of Plantkillers Anonymous. But not anymore. From this day forward, I plan to actually water my plants. Or at least I plan to try to remember to water them.
I have named my new utopia “The Prayer Garden.” Not because I go there to pray, but because those plants can use all the prayer they can get.
When I made the decision to develop a green thumb, I had visions of myself happily, peacefully working in the soil, surrounded by voluptuous blooms of every size, shape and color. Butterflies would flutter peacefully to and fro, our children would laugh and run around with butterfly nets, and our dogs would friskily chase the children. You know the picture. Straight from the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.
But I have recently been given a reality check, in the form of the pesky weeds that keep appearing in my flower bed. Every day, I walk the length of the beds, pulling the stubborn little guys from the ground. And every day, more weeds appear. Every single day.
I have tried digging out the dirt, and replacing it with “clean dirt.” Still, they come.
I have tried spraying them. The spray kills the ones that are above ground. But it does nothing for the future generations of weeds.
So every day, day after day, I walk up and down my flower beds. I bend over, pinch the weed, stand up. Bend over, pinch the weed, stand up. It’s actually a pretty good little work-out. Who needs an expensive gym membership, when you’ve got weeds?
But honestly, I have asked myself the question more than once, “Why bother?” After all, they will just come back. There is nothing I can do, short of cementing the entire bed and sticking some silk flowers there, that will keep the weeds from reappearing. As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure a concrete wall would stop some of those weeds.
So, I can either keep pulling the weeds, or I can give in and let them take over my flowerbed. It is that simple. Neither option is pleasant, but I refuse to give in. So I keep pulling the weeds.
It kind of reminds me of washing dishes, and doing laundry, and paying taxes, and stopping to pick up the trash others have left behind at the city park . . . all those little things we do to make a difference, when we know that before long, we will just have to do it again. And again and again.
Sometimes, we may feel like our little efforts are not making a bit of difference. We work and work, only to see our work undone before our eyes. But still, we continue washing those dishes. We keep throwing away those nasty soda bottles and candy wrappers that others leave behind. We refuse to give in, because to do so would just mean chaos. We don’t want to become overrun with the bad things of this life, so we keep doing our little good deeds, day after day, hoping we are somehow making a difference.
This morning, I stood at the street and looked at my flowerbeds. The shrubs are green, the flowers are red and pink and yellow and purple. The mulch gives it a nice, finished touch. No, it’s not a candidate for Better Homes and Gardens, but it won’t be entered into the Gardening Hall of Shame, either.
It looks downright (doggone you, weed! Bending, pinching . . .) pretty.
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”