/ / Finding Beauty in the Weeds: Lost and Found in the Garden

Finding Beauty in the Weeds: Lost and Found in the Garden

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I’ve been spending most of April tending to many things, especially our garden beds. I have been tending to as many weeds in my heart as I have pulled from the soil in my flower beds. Being outside has been grounding me. Pun Intended.

I’ve been raising broken, mislaid pavers and replacing the stray pebbles to restore the worn, twisted unsteady path. The path has taken a beating from the drenching rushing rains of some disjointed seasons.

I noticed this week that a few flowers have taken root and are blooming in flower beds where I’ve never seen them before in all the years we have lived in this house.

We planted every seed, bulb, bush, and tree. I knew every inch of this yard and my gardens, yet I hardly remember or recognize them. I keep asking how they got here. How did I?

I hardly remember what we planned and planted. The last thing Jon and I planted together were tulip bulbs in the fall of 2021 after he came home from rehab. I slowly walked him out to the garden to sit with me as I cleared the old tomato vines, and he recovered from a most devastating but hopeful month restoring what he lost. He didn’t lose his desire to help. So I gave him a small trowel and tulip bulbs, and together, we dug and planted those bulbs. They came up this year in our new flower garden. We learned a lot about his limitations. I learned more about “dying to self.” That was almost 3 years ago.

Now, I am surprised by the breathtaking beauty of all that we planted and grew amidst the overwhelming overgrowth of weeds.

Birds land freely, bees hum about, and a fox lies in my yard unafraid. Jon used to say, “This is a sanctuary.” It still is—our soft place to land.

My lush, unpretentious, fresh-cut grass is flecked with wild violets and speedwells. Colorful though they may be, they are still weeds. These weeds have given me a new perspective, allowing me to notice more closely what is real and genuine and what is nothing more than a colorful weed needing to be pulled.

Sometimes, things are not as they seem.

The new Irises, Black-eyed Susans, and Hydrangeas grew where they had never blossomed. They are no more or less beautiful where they have seeded, rooted, and bloomed. They just are unapologetically taking root in a new space. I don’t know how they got where they are, but they grace my worn, torn, eroded yard in a stunning way.

We can still bloom and grow into a beautiful new garden even when the conditions and seasons have altered the landscape.

As the canopy of trees above casts new shadows, the growing seeds and blossoms search for a new ray of light and hope.

I’ve noticed moss growing in many places where it never was in my yard. Moss has its own beauty and purpose. I love to line my containers with it, and now I have an abundant source for free.

What a gift.

Moss indicates the state of a surrounding environment; maybe the sun has lost its luster, too many shadows loom, or the eroded landscape needs to be amended.

Perhaps all of it, and in time, the process and garden will catch up and bloom in unexpected and magnificent ways. It’s too soon to know how things will go and grow and where the worn path will lead.

The land is fertile and moist, and the trees and weeds are overgrown. The sun needs to find its way in.

The eroded yard needs correcting with proper planting in loamy soil, and broken fences must be mended by pitching more study posts to give it steadfast support.

Both are work. Both take time and space with ample rest in between.

Both endeavors demand time and space, with ample rest generously woven in between, akin to the natural rhythm of growth.

Some walls and structures need to be rebuilt from the ground up.

The foundation was shaken by an earth-shattering loss, not the recent earthquake we felt as we counted the days to witness a once-in-a-lifetime eclipse. The air grew damp and cold.

The light still won, and Our Creator showed his glorious face as we dared to stare into the sun unafraid. It’s too hard not to seek the light.

A basement leak and a new, unmatched (but beautiful) floor were no match for our ability to laugh right in its face, witness the good, and notice how God allows us to be pruned of everything to enable us to grow.

We were meant to be laid bare.

We barely paid $1.00 for the replacement floor. Though it doesn’t match, it does the job. What a metaphor for this new life we are attempting to rebuild with broken pieces that will never fit when we are down a person in this two-person union.  

His tenderness can heal starting within the slightest crack where water seeps in—not to damage but to cleanse—like baptismal waters—from the ground up, deep within. As I search the ground beneath my feet to find a sturdy footing to take my step on the shaky stepping stones, God unveils all these shattered and tattered places have been held together not by withering branches or weeds but by a vine—The One True Vine.

The vinegrower prunes and removes the withered branches, throwing them into dancing embers. As we clear away the ashes and behold the unfolding splendor within this sacred space, we discover an exquisite garden and trellis woven with fragrant blossoms and bearing abundant fruit—a glimpse into the beatific vision.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.

He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.

Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

John 15:1

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