I’ve always believed faith is a gift you give yourself but hope is a gift others give you. And, there have been times I was more generous with my gift to self, than accepting a gift from others. Since then I’ve learned, having faith alone can be a closed door and just the opposite of what faith represents.
Hope has a sneaky way of entering one’s life. A gift received unexpectedly, without you knowing it is a gift. Soon you find, it is something you cannot live without. It came to me gift wrapped in brown paper. Innocuous. I opened it up. I’m glad I did. It seemed a good place to start and I found it in the wonderful philosophy of Marie Kondo, the queen of declutter who promotes ‘keep what brings you joy’. I took the declutter philosophy and adapted it to a lifestyle choice. It transformed the way I live. I now travel light. I live with joy.
My garden is a place of joy. Sometimes it is barren, sometimes not, but in all its states, it is like a friend. Always there. Non-judgemental. Forgiving. Offering surprises when I need them most.
Being time poor I’ve had the same gardener for over 16 years. He’s inextricably linked to my garden. He’s elderly and comes by just for a few $ of pub money. He enjoys pottering around comfortable in the space he creates. Like an adorned tree, his face lights up at Christmas when I give him a bottle of his favourite whiskey, and I look forward to his heartfelt thank you that accentuates his unmistakable Mancunian accent. An avid fan of English football, he likes to share his enthusiasm when his team plays. I give him more than a few minutes of my time because I know talking about his footy team, brings him joy. I might add, I know nothing about sport but manage to wing it with him!
There are some flowers I love. Pansies and violas are some of them. I love how they look hand painted and when they bloom I’m always nearby. Instead of being disappointed when they are past their prime, I look forward to their season again.
It’s raining this morning and cool, too cool. A tee shirt seems inadequate. I have to remind myself we are in the middle of summer. But the contrast between winter and summer spurned me to write and immerse myself into a moment that integrates past and present.
I recalled this morning a moment that stays vivid in memory. I had returned from one trip to a garden that was nearly barren. There were no favourite flowers to be found. I didn’t want the company of the vivid geraniums. Emotionally spent from a challenging trip, I wanted something more delicate to bounce off how I felt. From the corner of my eye I saw a pansy growing between rocks. If there was ever a message of hope, this was it. It brought together what I knew to be true in life. Along with faith, one has to have imperishable hope in one’s emotional tool kit.
A raindrop fell today
it found the driest place to land
and filtered down the earth
past pebbles, stones and sand
The raindrop searched for a single seed
in the dirt, dormant and dry
except to The Gardener's eye
The seed did not know the purpose
it lay passive in parched land
unquestioning why placed there
by The Gardener's steady hand.
The Gardener knew when the rain came
the season would be right
the raindrop would seek the seed
the one He buried in the night
The raindrop relentless in search
found the seed, the dormant one
it reached in reconciliation
and the seed, reached for the sun.
a dawn bird