I remember as a teenager watching my mother spend entire summer days weeding and caring for her flower beds, and thinking, “What a waste of time.  You’ll never catch me spending my summer days messing around with flowers when I could be doing something fun.”

Well, now it’s my turn, and I have come at least half-circle from my ignorant youth.  I enjoy flowers and I do spend summer days caring for them.  However, except for several containers that do get replanted each spring with annuals, most of the flowers and flowering shrubs in our landscaping fall under the title of my favorite flower descriptor: “hardy perennial”.  That means that they can survive our usually-harsh Wisconsin winters and come back the following year without the need for re-planting.

My daughter recently reminded my wife and I that the most beautiful flower garden that we have takes no work or effort to maintain.  She gifted us a picture of a lovely display of flowers in full bloom.  The caption below is “Grandma and Grandpa’s Garden”.  The bunch of flowers consists of the birth flower for each month that one of our 11 grandchildren were born. 

While it does take time to maintain such a garden, there is no work involved.  Anytime we can spend admiring this flower garden is readily invested and always joy-filled.  They are all better than any common flowers, even those hardy perennials, because each year they bloom larger and more beautiful, as they reveal all of the potential within.  We get to witness the budding of their hopes and dreams, bask in the brightness of their smiles, and see them sway – dancing in the breeze of life.  And these flowers sing in laughter, they surround us with their beauty, and best of all, embrace us with their hugs. 

The spray of blossoms is more than hoped or experienced anywhere else because these particular  flowers can’t be found in bloom at the same time anywhere else except in our family.  Each is cherished; each is special.  Naming a favorite may be unwise, but I don’t think any of them is slighted when my heart is drawn to the little forget-me-knots that are there for the grandchildren who didn’t live until their birthday.  We didn’t get to hold those, or gaze at their beauty, or smell their perfume.  But, I know that they live in eternal innocence in the eternal love of Heaven, waiting for us to join them one day so that we can see how they adorn the banquet table of the Lamb.  Each day I ask for them to help pray me home.

I have come to love gardening.

His Peace <><

Deacon Dan