Lessons from the Sweet Life Garden

Hey my Sweet Lifers! There are many lessons about life taught daily in a garden. One of the more poignant lessons for me has been watching and waiting and observing just how things work with God and faithfulness in His timing. l marvel at the harmony amongst vegetables and flowers and insects that live there. There are of course the frogs and lizards…even snakes and spiders that I have become friends with, nodding to them with respect for they too have a rightful place in my sweet life garden. I have learned that despite my initial fears we all get along everyday, many days by just stepping aside to allow the other to walk on by. There’s something quite spiritual about it. 
Once last year I planted a few sunflower seeds not really expecting much to come out of it and when they did not sprout I was not particularly surprised. After all, I have indeed planted quite the smorgasbord of seedlings with some taking residence right up almost without any help at all from me. Other’s especially the heirlooms; have been like frightened children that I have had to coax into existence and babysit with salts and oils and conversations with God to blossom and bloom to become all that they can be. I have thought a lot about the correlation of what my garden is doing and how we as humans should co exist with one another. I have actually been amazed by it if not a little obsessed. 
We all have people in our lives that grow wherever they are planted. Nothing stops them even in the tragedies and joys of life they always seem to shine. Other’s are shot down and need compassion and care. Then there are those that surprise us. Forgotten that a seed was planted in them and years later we see them fulfilling their destiny after a time of quiet and contemplation. All of us can learn that what we might see and plan for today could be just a small step in filling the world with love for one another to reveal a larger more beautiful  vision of our world.
This spring I tried my hand at tulips and dahlias planting their bulbs carefully and more sunflowers of course. The tulips, oh I had so looked forward to and as they popped their leaves I grew with excitement about photoshoots and spring with my families. I walked into the garden one morning with a little space perfect for doing just that only to walk back the next day and find every last one had been eaten by the deer. I watched the dahlias as they sprouted and grew tall and majestically opened themselves swaying in the sunshine as if to scream loudly “we are so thrilled to be right here!” Then came the zinnias that keep on going along, why, I wondered has it taken me 51 years to discover them? 
On a fine day in May I found a stalk growing in the eggplants and thought hmmm where did you come from? I surely knew that I had not planted anything right there, but looking determined I decided to leave her and see what she’d do. Sure enough by early June it was clear that she was a sunflower of extraordinary determined proportion. I begged her not to bloom until I got back from North Carolina. Prayed she’d wait actually. I got a text with a picture showing me all of her beauty and by the time I arrived back she had swooped her head, swollen with seeds back towards the earth. I chopped off her head and carefully dried her seeds and as I peeled back her pods I was amazed at what must be a thousand or more just like her, waiting to be planted and patiently waiting for their own season to bloom and blossom and shine. A lesson of faith in God’s timing despite all odds. Many of us are like the sunflower.
With one another we never know what seeds we plant.The things we say and do sometimes take hold quickly as if a person just needed to be assured of what they already knew they could do… kinda like the dahlias. Some, like the heirlooms need a little coaxing and mentoring and listening to and time. Then there’s the sunflower, destined despite not being planted in a particular place; and withstanding a freeze like we have never had before, to make the choice to blossom and bloom against all odds. She has been a lesson in determination, because you just never know what will happen when you plant a seed. Will it bloom right away? Will it die on the vine? Will it take some coaxing and love and a good “talking to?” Or will it reveal itself and all it’s beauty in a lesson meant for both you and me?

Take Care of YOU and Stay “SWEET!” 

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