Monday, July 26, 2010

A Mother is a Gardener

When we bought our house I could hardly wait for the new Spring to come so I could plant my first vegetable garden.  We have a tiny back yard with a lot of awesome shade so the small area that gets the happy sunshine was where I wanted to build our little garden.

As we built the wall and as we filled it with new soil I couldn't help but think back to my childhood when I was asked to give a talk on mother's day. Luckily my mother, being the smart lady she was, had me memorize it.  Not only did I do well that day but because it came to mind 24 years later I have drawn some parallels and have learned some valuable life lessons from it.

My mother has a garden that she waters every day.
Sometimes she picks the flowers and makes a bright bouquet.
She says the flowers remind her of things that children do—
So come into the garden, and I’ll explain to you.

She says I’m like a daisy,
a golden ray of sun,
Or like a happy marigold,
always full of fun.

Here’s a lacy lilac;
it scatters sweet perfume.
And here’s a yellow daffodil
to brighten up a room.

I’m like a carefree dandelion
growing wild and free.
And I am like a hollyhock,
as tall as I can be.

Here’s a strong snapdragon,
as big and brave as Dad.
And here’s a small, sweet violet
trying to be glad.

I’m like a quiet crocus
with promise for the spring.
I’m a purple pansy
that makes you want to sing.

If I am like a flower, then surely you must know
That mother is the gardener, for she helps me to grow!
She cultivates and nurtures and enriches patiently.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for creating her for me.

Now that our garden has grown and is ready to be gobbled up I am amazed at the simple principle this little poem has taught me. The comparison that can be made between caring for a garden and raising a child.  Planting a garden or having a baby can be tricky but is far from the hardest part.  It is the care and the constant nourishment that these things need to flourish.  Gardens and children can not be tended to only when we feel like it.  They both need our attention especially on days that are tough. When things get the hottest and when the environment goes bad we need to be there to make sure our little plants are okay.
I am new to both of these experiences so obviously mistakes are made a lot.  Luckily though, I have never forgotten to feed or water my kids like I do my tomatoes.  But I find comfort in knowing that in both plants and little spirits I get help from a very tender Heavenly Father.  When I think I have completely lost a plant I look very closely only to find a little speck of green at the root.  This means that it is wick.

There is a song from the Secret Garden Musical that I have always loved...and a few of the lines bring so much hope to a gardener who sees something begin to die or to a mother who blames herself for the lack of light in her child's eyes.

When a thing is wick, it has a life about it.
Now, maybe not a life like you and me.
But somewhere there's a single streak of green inside it.
Come, and let me show you what I mean.

When a think is wick, it has a light around it.
Maybe not a light that you can see.
But hiding down below a spark's asleep inside it,
Waiting for the right time to be seen.

You clear away the dead parts
So the tender buds can form.
Loosen up the earth and let the roots get warm.
Let the roots get warm.

So here are a few things I learned as I did the gardening thing for the first time:

Spend time doing the preparation and building a good foundation.
Plant them the way you feel is best...not the way the world see's best for you.
Don't be afaid to make it look pretty.
Drop in a flower or two to brighten things up.
Sing to the them.
Get excited about the tiniest growth.
Keep them warm.
Start from seed, even if it seems harder.
Involve others.
Keep away the weeds.
Don't get discouraged with the ones that look less then perfect.
Enjoy it's beauty.
Be proud of what you create.
Thank Heavenly Father for helping you out.

What are some of the things you think about while gardening?

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