My mother is a gardener.
She grows dreams from tiny seeds. Plants hope in small furrows of soil as black as coffee grounds. Each time she drops one into the ground her hands wave the soil gently over them like she’s tucking them in for the night under the midnight earth.
Sometimes her face gets dreamy when she looks out at the poppies’ dancing faces waving to her in the breeze, and I think this must be her lullaby. A place to rest.
The ground has taught her patience during the times when things are unseen. There is a faithfulness to waiting, anticipating growth. A longing even.
There are seasons when things are so blisteringly hard and the ground is razed and scorched and the pillaging seems to mean no harvest will ever come. These are the dying days. We all have them. Seasons of loss, seasons of dry land and the shadows of overcast burdens blocking out the goodness of God.
We throw the kitchen scraps into our compost and pitch and twirl it like we’re tossing giant mounds of spaghetti with an oversized fork. It’s the castaways and the trash. The things that would find their way into the bottom of a dumpster that become worm food and then soil and then fruit.
I believe in the God of lost things.
We’re moving and she wants to take her plants. We’re pulling up roots put down and breaking our backs shoveling the good earth under the hot sun.
I’ve heard it said that to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrows. If that’s true, then to watch a garden grow is to remember your yesterdays.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Eden was bursting with life, a garden of promise where things grew under naked feet and man walked with God and that it was called good.
I’ve often felt like an exile clinging at scraps and secondhand things. The castaways and hand-me-downs that God provides. I haven’t trusted my God will provide. At least not in the way that spills dreams into my hands instead of through my fingers leaving me grasping and empty.
Sometimes God has said no and not now and I’ve learned to see His good anyway. I’ve trained my eyes again and again to see goodness in the hard. But to see the garden burst out of barrenness. To see the hope planted bloom? That is miracle and wonder too, and I’ve often failed to see it.
I’m so tired from packing boxes and lists of things to do and move and connect and transfer. Shifting lives from one space to another, moving our home is tedious and grueling. But it’s hope planted. There is plenty waiting.
I picture my kids running through the wildflowers, their fingertips grazing their petals, making them ripple like waves. I picture harvesting tomatoes in the summer and building snowmen in the winter where the wood stove beckons my children’s pink noses, and their smiles hover just above cups of cocoa, marshmallows bobbing cheerfully on the surface. I picture the moments of being together with room to grow.
I am in a season of good.
Sometimes it may not look that way to others, but I feel it even with health issues lingering or when the kids get the stomach flu and all the extra sheets are packed away already. I feel it with trials that come because things are blooming again. God is walking with me in the garden and it is good.
It’s been a long wintering of my soul, so many dying days I forgot the feel of sun on my cheeks. But I’m recognizing the hand of God sweeping inky soil over me, covering the light and crushing me with the heel of His palm to break out new life.
If I didn’t know Him I’d believe He meant my destruction on certain days. Some days I’ve asked how God could possibly mean these dying days for good, I’m often stumbling about in darkness, grasping for that break in the ground to come up for air.
But to know God’s goodness and to believe is something I’m always journeying back to.
Oh, how easily I forget how devastatingly harsh God’s love is, how it dispels all the placed things and digs down and covers up and coaxes new life.
It all starts in brokenness. Jesus broken for me. Me broken open to Him.
I am a girl in the lap of God, believing in hope planted. I am learning to ask of God for the lost things, and believe in God for the found things.
I am rooted in love.