I look out my kitchen window at the late summer border of my flower garden; in all honesty, looking awfully shabby and forlorn. I hadn’t even noticed it in all the past months of worry. Too much focused on the dire all-consuming headlines which do so little to restore my peace of mind.
The roses, bless their faithful hearts, are valiantly trying to put on one last show before winter arrives with its icy winds and frost. Abraham Darby and Emma Thompson, still bright with blossoms, shimmering pink buds on Earth Angel greet the morning sun.
One of my favorites, she is still covered in buds, a promise of beauty to come. Beauty I’ve turned a blind eye to, watching instead, the gloomy evening news and evening updates of the sorrow that stalks our land.
My conscience smites me, the roses should have had a nourishing feed of compost weeks ago. A cascade of weeds march towards their roots, weeds that unless firmly dealt with immediately, will rob all of us of a truly gorgeous Autumn bloom and heaven knows we could all use something bright and blooming about now.
Grimly I shake off the gloom, what I need is some good old fashioned hard work, as great aunt Clara used to say; “Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get busy!” She, made of sterner stuff, born of a tough and more gritty generation, dear aunt Clara who saw wars and the loss of a child, poverty, and ill-health and still almost never lost her cheerful outlook and optimism. Aunt Clara whose humor and storytelling gift kept us enthralled with laughter. I’d almost forgotten her prescription for sadness and the best cure for despair; tackling some big job and gaining the satisfaction of bringing peace and order to one’s small corner of the world. Hard work is medicinal, I’m sure of it.
Grabbing up my garden shears and a bag of rich dark compost that should make any languishing rose sit up and pay attention, I dive into the fray, pulling choking vines out by their wretched roots, using a shovel on the worst offenders. Methodically, foot by foot, ejecting the flower smothering weeds, pouring lavish amounts of compost and liquid emulsions deep into the soil around each rose, all of whom seem to gaze at me gratefully, whimsy I know but ever so satisfying nonetheless.
Two hours later, covered in grime with a wheelbarrow filled to overflowing with wilting weeds, I head back inside filled with satisfaction, I send grateful thanks to dear Aunt Clara who I’m sure is watching from Heaven.
Thanks for the gift of courage and commonsense and good hard work and the reminder that I need to stop gazing fearfully at the wind and waves of the storm…
…and instead, keep my eyes fixed firmly on the One who made the sea.