Good news from my backyard! For those of you who read this post written a few months ago, the tree gracing my backyard is now full and flourishing. I noticed it today, as if it appeared all of a sudden. Maybe it did. Isn’t that how things change? Slowly and then all at once the difference is there.
Patience is needed, most certainly.
I dragged the dirty old lawn chair through my backyard today and plopped it down just under that tree. The shade is expansive and cool, protective from the sun’s rays, protective of me. I sat there with my journal and a new perspective of my backyard. I kind of liked it: seeing my house from a different spot, noticing different details and appreciating the ones I already knew. Mostly, however, I found myself staring at my garden, captivated.
Last week I came home to find a box sitting alone in my yard next to the plot of dark brown dirt where we had planted our veggies last summer. My grandmother had come by. Not long after, she came again knocking at the door with more plants in tow, ready to get to work. My grandmother is one of the coolest cats around. I wish everyone had a chance to know her, to know her hugs, to feel how proud she is of you. She’s a spunky firecracker and knows how to rock a fanny pack. She comes up just below my shoulders, right at the perfect spot to wrap her arms tightly around my waist. She knows no stranger. She gives and gives and gives.
Like on this day when she came over to help me start my garden again for the year. If it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t have had fresh homemade salsa or yummy fried okra or heavenly sautéed zucchini and squash straight from my backyard last year. I’m telling you she works magic in her gardens. Of course, I want (and desperately need) her help this year too! So we set to tilling the tiny plot for growin’ our goodies. And we dug. And we seeded. And we watered. And we thought about those big round juicy red tomatoes in our future. Anticipation makes each bite all the better.
My grandmother later left that day, leaving me the daily routine of watching over, watering, and wondering about those small plants in my backyard. Sometimes I’m truly thankful for the simple, daily to-dos. Water the garden? Check. Chat with my budding veggies? Check. Feel ashamed for just admitting to you that I talk to my garden? Not a chance.
But back to sitting under my tree, captivated by my garden. For such a large yard, the garden plot takes up very little space. However, it’s smack in the middle so you can’t miss it. It wants some attention. As I’m sitting in my dirty lawn chair on a sunny afternoon, I think I could maybe just sit there all summer, waiting, watching my tomato plants grow. That would be just fine by me. I’m enticed by the promise of slowness and the rewards of hard work. If I just wait long enough. And even though I can’t see it in that moment, those tomato plants are growing right now before my eyes. Maybe just a tiny bit. Maybe not enough that I’ll notice, not in an hour or tomorrow or next week. But one day I’ll come outside with my watering hose and the change will be there, suddenly, as if all at once. As long as I’m patient, with just enough water, just enough warmth, just enough afternoon conversation. Those plants will grow, I’m sure of it.
Goodness, how thankful I am it’s the same with you and me. The growing seems long and hard. Some days can get us down, and it may seem like we’re not growing at all. But change is happening. This process takes patience, most certainly (If you’re like me and patience is just plain hard to come by… well let’s try and stick it out together). Grace is growing you. Faithfulness is building you up. There is promise of renewal and life. Wait and see. Circumstances may seem hard right now, but you will grow, I’m sure of it.