Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Words to Live By

Not quite 3 years outside of 60 it surprises me, this joy in getting older. I feel not so much a survivor of life as a person who is on her way.

My granny said that would happen. She was 98 at the time, with nearly a half-decade yet to walk by faith.

"Loving flowers and gardens and children does that," Granny said."Don't just watch, really see what is growing." She was giving me words to live by, watching me grow.

A picture of Granny, my great-grandmother, is etched into my heart. She is standing in her garden out on the farm, her blue bonnet blowing in the morning breeze. Leaning on a hoe, resting, I'm certain she is watching her garden grow.

Cup of coffee in hand, just before sunrise, I visit my rose bushes, columbine, irises and daisies. I walk through the garden and notice significant changes in the vegetables growing.

A rabbit has bruised a flower in full bloom. A deer has chomped a vine. Soil has grown weary and parched. Blooms appear from buds never noticed. Soft, sage green Lamb's Ear sprouts in an impossible to grow area. Cilantro has sprouted among the garden rocks.

My grandma and I left the porch swing where we had been snapping green beans, and stretched in the sunshine. As we picked favorite zinnias for a bouquet, she talked about the boldness of colors, the varied petals. Wiping dust off tiny yellow tomatoes we popped them in our mouths one after the other. She talked about life.

She was teaching me to see what was growing around me. She was giving me words to live  by, watching me grow.

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?" my mother would chant in our garden. We would laugh and quote nursery rhymes and poems over and over again. Often she would point to our Guernsey cattle on the hillside. "Aren't they pretty?" she would say. We would sit on the front step drinking iced tea, deciding whether we wanted a bouquet of roses or peonies on the table.

She was teaching me to see what was growing around me. She was giving me words to live by, watching me grow.
Set up signposts to mark your trip home.
Get a good map.
Study the road conditions.
The road out is the road back.
Come back, dear virgin Israel,
come back to your hometowns.
How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?
How long before you make up your fickle mind?
God will create a new thing in this land:
A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!

A Message from Israel’s God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
'When I’ve turned everything around and brought my people back,
the old expressions will be heard on the streets:
‘God bless you!’ . . . ‘O True Home!’ . . . ‘O Holy Mountain!’
All Judah’s people, whether in town or country,
will get along just fine with each other.

I’ll refresh tired bodies;
I’ll restore tired souls.

Just then I woke up and looked around—
what a pleasant and satisfying sleep! 
The Message, Jeremiah 31:21-26
God is teaching me to see what is growing around me. He is giving me words to live by, watching me grow.

I know the sun is not really waking up, stretching itself into view as I watch the sun rise. Mrs. Lee, my third grade teacher, explained the science of rotating planets around a stationary sun. I'm just not sure I ever believed her. Nearly every morning I watch the spring sun peep over the horizon and touch each flower head bringing it to full glory.

Time is coming. Time is not going.

Follow the old ways. Look around.

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