and after:overwhelmed with gratitude as I spent MOST of Saturday toiling away in that little garden bed. You see, gardening is one of my favorite things to do in the world. It makes me feel connected to the earth. It's calming, it's simple, it's repetitive, it's creative, and for someone who is having a difficult time cultivating "life and growth" in OTHER areas of her life... it feels good to know that I can still create a cultivate it elsewhere for the time being. Gardening is also one of Kortland's favorite things to do with his mom and I'm so grateful that we are able to spend time creating together. To be honest, there are still days where I can't believe that I'm a gardener. Saturday was one of these days. And this is why:
I used to kill everything.
(and I mean everything.)
and it made me feel like an enormous failure,
and it made me not want to try anymore,
and it could have kept me from knowing the pure joy
that gardening and digging, and creating can bring,
I had an intervention.
One day, years and years ago, when Kyle and I were settling into our first big purchase (a condo, with a small back patio and a GARDEN) I was visiting my mom in the good old EC and she took me to visit her elderly friend in Castle Dale. This woman had the most beautiful garden I had ever seen. It was small, but oh so lovely with trees and stone walkways, and pots, and wagons, and pops of color everywhere I looked. I expressed my sincere desire to be a gardener and to have the ability to create something like this one day, but told her that I was destined to be a complete failure. She laughed and assured me that I would not fail. She then proceeded (for the next hours or so) to walk me through her garden and teach me the basics. What needs lots of water, what doesn't, how to place what where in order to achieve optimum success... and so on. But most importantly, she gave me confidence. She believed in me, and somehow,that helped me believe in myself.
And, she gave me these:
3 little succulents.She pulled them right off of their "mamas," wrapped them in a damp paper towel, and told me to put them in my new garden (which, she assured me, would be magnificently beautiful - and it was.) I planted them, and the next season, they grew babies of their own. I pulled the babies off and planted them somewhere else and they multiplied. When we sold our little condo and moved, they moved with me. I put them into a pot and they continued to increase in number. Then I put them in my front garden bed, where they are dwelling happily to this day. There are now hundreds of them. (This pot below holds only a few of my "collection")
My friend is gone now. There are days (a lot of them) when I think of her, and I can't imagine how my life would be if she hadn't crossed my path. Life can be hard. Sometimes everything just hurts, and I don't know what I'd do with myself if I couldn't go out in my yard and dig around until I felt good again. This friend simply gave away an hour of her time and a few succulents from her garden one Saturday afternoon and she enhanced my life forever.
As I planted my garden on Saturday, I thought of her, and I thought of her succulents. They are the perfect representation of service.
Because a kind deed doesn’t die away after it’s been done. It is carried in the heart of the one who received it, and, once planted there, it grows. It grows until the heart can no longer hold it and at last it bursts out in every direction, blessing countless lives as it goes. Lives that the original giver may never even know about.
I relished spending last Saturday amidst hundreds of her flowers. Moving them, cultivating them, and most of all, enjoying them. My friend is gone, but her love is still here, all around me.
Right in front of me.A perfect reminder to spread that love around any chance that I get. Well, you know how I worked really, really hard this past winter and spring to get people involved in service, and raise money for the children of Zambia, and help women to find opportunities to get their children involved in simple acts of service? Well, I think, after a little soul searching, and a lot of guidance, I have the answer. It doesn't lie within some huge event, or theme, or idea... it lies within our homes and our hearts. It is through the individual that lasting change is made, and I am presenting an opportunity to you.
Become a green girl with me.
It's so simple, that it feels a little crazy,
but it's so crazy
...that it just might work.
Blog about it, bloggy button it, tell everyone you know.
Most of all - schedule us for a speaking engagement, invite like-minded people over to share new thoughts and ideas, and decide to take action. You'll be glad you did, and you'll never know how you'll impact the people both in your community, and people thousands of miles away.