the columbine

This spring, the pandemic has slowed our go-go-go family down tremendously. Rather than running to various activities every afternoon, we’ve found ourselves focused on our own homestead. We keep a to-do list of both house and garden projects, but this extra time has afforded the opportunity to be creatively inspired to develop new gardens and enhance the way we relax at home.

The last couple of years, I have been working in the shade area below the Hope Garden. Even though the weeds and snake grass seem to get the best of me by late summer, I start the spring with a beautifully mulched area with native plants and several hydrangea bushes gifted to me over the years.

Recently, my sweetheart came home from Southern States with columbine plants of various colors–2 purple for the Hope Garden and a red and a white for the shade beds. I do love columbine with its delicate lacy flowers and sleek long flower heads that seem to nod in the breeze. I was delighted by this lovely gesture and prioritized getting them in the ground earlier this week.

As I sat beside them in the warm mulch, I watched the afternoon sun dance among their petals. Such a lovely opportunity for photography! I looked over at the red one, and there she was. One flower head reaching up toward the sky. Instead of looking around at her new surroundings, she seemed to be reaching toward the light in a gesture of joy or gratitude. So happy to be alive on that day!

It wasn’t until after I took the photo, however, that I really looked at this little beauty. As a result of travel in the car or being replanted in the ground, she was missing a petal, and another petal had been crushed. Her stamens no longer stood at attention, rather they drooped willy nilly, and some of the pistils had been lopped off. Bless her heart-

In that moment I really identified with that flower. Sometimes, life runs us ragged or presents us with unexpected challenges. We are crushed, we wilt, and we may even feel like we’ve lost a part of ourselves.

And yet, there is the Creator, tending to us in the Garden. Warming us with light and life. Cultivating what is around us so that we can grow and heal and restore–a lovely reason to lift our heads with joy and gratitude for a Love such as this.

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