Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Art of Being Practical

It is that time of year when the trees are ready to pop. They are still barren, stark, reaching up to the sky with jagged lines. But I know that it's coming--that any day there will a sea of green outside my window when I look up.

Home Depot is setting up its spring collection of bursting flowers and vibrant plants. Roy drives me there regularly so that I can look out the car window and dream. "Let's plant this coming Sunday," he says to me, just about every week.

But I shake my head. "No. We have to wait 'til Mother's Day."

Freezes are unpredictable; that is the magical date.

"Well then," Roy counters, "let's at least clean out the flower beds and get them ready to go so that all we have to do is put the flowers in them."

I shrug, uninterested.

What is it with us and these copycat conversations? One round never seems to be enough.

It's a funny thing to me how Roy suddenly cares about these things. He never cared back in the day when the kids were little. But now? Well now we both love going outside for yard work. There is just something abot having my hands in the cool dirt, pulling weeds, laying down mulch that is of a dark red hue, planting brightly-colored flowers that are in the early stages of growth, envisioning what a few weeks of time will birth. And I like the sudden transformation from a sparce flowerbed that looks barren, a thing of beauty.

And then? Well, then I take the leftover flowers that won't fit in the beds (as I always find far too many that I just can't live without) and plant them in little pots that I set all over the yard. Mmm..

All in a day's work.

And so, I am biding my time 'til Mother's Day. I am watching the lineup of options so that I make my best choices when it comes time to buy. I am dreaming.

I wasn't raised with flower beds. But I was raised with a garden. No matter where we lived as a kid growing up, my mom had a garden--and she still does. Every summer she'd head outdoors, hoe in hand, to till the earth and plant the seeds. She rarely made me help her, and that baffles me now. Maybe she tired of my whining interrupting something that was so sacred: I'm tired, Mom. Can I stop now? My back hurts. 

One year Mom was here during planting time and I asked her why she never planted flowers, only vegetables. Oh--I'm far too practical, was her reply.

That's my mom--practical.

But I don't see anything not practical about flowers. No matter how my day has fared, walking up my sidewalk to the front door and passing an array of color, delicate shapes, bursting leaves--well, that always makes me stop, if just for a moment. Those flowers remind me to ...

...slow down,



embrace the moment...

remember that every day has its troubles...

  but those troubles will pass,

that life is worth living,

that it's okay to just be.


  1. I'm coming over after mother's day to see all your life and color!!

  2. Btw I planted my front flowers today....which means it will snow in a week, so be prepared!


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