Wednesday, December 3, 2008
A Winters Tale: Sunday Scribbling
"Do you know how to grow Zinnias?" the stranger asked me as she handed me a box of dead flowers that she had collected last fall. It was early spring, might have even been late winter. You know those tense days in between that you are ready for the cold to go away and excited to see the crocus and other colorful life pop out from the muddy slushy ground.
A lady stopped by my garage sale and was enthusiastic to share her garden tips along with the variety of seeds she had collected. I was honored that she was so willing to share with me. I had decided to have a garage sale to earn some money so that I could go to the nursery and purchase some gardening materials. I would have never bought Zinnias. I didn't know a thing about them really.
"Just pull off the dead petals from these and you will see the seeds. Sprinkle them all around your flower bed. As they start to grow, you will need to pull out the weak sprouts so that the stronger plants will thrive."
And so, as spring time arrived and summer was peaking just around the corner, I cared for the Zinnias, just as the sage woman advised. Plucking the weaker sprouts and watching them grow thicker and taller each week was amazing to witness. My daughters would watch with some bewilderment. "Those aren't weeds are they mom? Why are you pulling them?" I could hear them in the background while I continued to look for the weaker pieces.
Amazed at the Zinnias in the center of summer time, I noticed that there was another patch of Zinnias that I didn't not "pluck." I forgot that I sprinkled seeds in the corner over there too. That patch did grow, however the flowers were tiny, petite. The bed where the sprouts were nurtured and plucked on a daily or weekly basis however grew tall and mighty. My children and guests would 'ooo' and 'awe' over them. They were a delight to the eyes.
I recall the summer memories of the Zinnia's today as we walk through the evergreen nursery in search of our family Christmas tree. It's cold and I am glad I wore gloves and a scarf. I wish I would have worn better shoes though. Slip-on shoes in the slushy mud only makes for muddy socks and miserable feet. As I realize my failed shoe selection, I glance over at the baby Evergreen trees. I see rows and rows of baby trees. Cute and sweet, almost playful. A patch of crop tucked away here in the mass of natural Evergreen woods to the north and west, and seeded and toiled rows of matured trees suited for crop growing and thriving just east and south. My eye is drawn to the lonely, brown, twig-like tree in the row I am walking along.
And I wonder. Will the tree farmers come by soon to pluck this tree so the other baby trees may grow and thrive? Is it just part of nature that this process takes place? Must there be trees that have to die in order that others must live and grow stronger?
At this phase of my life, I am like the Zinnia and Evergreen. This year, I have grown, matured, thrived. The loss of my own mother and my great aunt has actually strengthened me at the core. From the depths of my heart and soul, I have become inspired, growing and filling out into the role that I have been created to be. Would I be at this place in my life without the passing of previous matriarchs in my life?
I do not believe so. The frustration, fear and guilt - all removed from my roots, the core of my being. The damage can now be plucked, pruned. A new day is here. It is Christmas and I love this time of year. I no longer wait to disappoint and feel shame and regret. For the passing of those lives lived have allowed me to open up, bloom and blossom today.
I am no longer bound by the shadow of their being.