During the last few weeks of this summer I left my house and returned again each day, walking across my front patio with a twinge of regret. I had worked hard in the early spring to repaint the outdoor furniture, find new cushions for the chairs and sofa, and even splurged on some pots and plants to freshen up the walkway. After spending one lovely evening enjoying my work, I never sat out there again. Life just got busy and the warm evenings slipped on by. Now, the soil edges where the hosta grew (before they were chewed down by deer) were unruly and overgrown with weeds. Some of the plants stood unfortunately dehydrated in their pots, unrevivable between the rains that kept the rest of the plants, and more weeds, sustained.
September came dutifully and I had happily jumped into the back-to-school routine when it happened. Instead of plowing across my scraggly concrete garden to get into my car, I glanced up to my neighbor's impeccably landscaped yard. There they were: perfectly potted mums. Beautiful autumn colors. Something inside me crumbled.
I looked back at my weeds and potted sticks and started to debate the expense of planting more seasonal flowers. I weighed the time spent working and the time spent resting. I did this quickly, because I pretty much have the same debate every spring and fall. And then I noticed.
Poking through the midst of the overgrowth were marigolds. Neon orange and velvety maroon blooms that I had not planted, nor planned for, reached toward the sun while their hidden roots dug deep into soil where the seeds had landed.
Seeing those flowers brought a peace to my heart that had been churning for months. I have planted hidden seeds of beauty that you will never expect. Just clear out the junk and give them space to grow. Instead of tending to the indoor chores on Saturday morning, I spent some time clearing out the junk. Slowly, deliberately, I made space for new plants and took a step back. I turned away the urge to replant the flowers with even spaces between them. No need.
After a few days of merciful hydration from above, my garden is fresher than ever. Where I let go, life went on to flourish. And I have a little time to soak it in.
"I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my trust in him." Is 8:17
Early this morning, I heard a strange noise coming from my backyard. Not a bird, too loud to be a chipmunk, but definitely something calling out for help. I walked out onto the porch...
and in the grass lay a tiny fawn, calling for her mom. I looked around, and saw the mother on the other side of the fence, in my neighbor's yard.
She eventually kept walking away from my yard with this fawn, leaving the other behind. I wasn't sure what to do, so I got in the shower to get ready for worship. When I was dressed and on my way out the door, the cries were stronger and louder, and my poor cat was meowing at me to do something! I looked out the window to see the fawn had arisen, and was tracing its mother's path across my neighbor's yard. I was thankful that she seemed to be on her way, but also worried that she wouldn't find her, or would get hit by a car.
When I went to get into my car, the mother was standing in my driveway, looking seriously exhausted and forlorn. Instead of running away, she just stood there, then slowly turned in the wrong direction.
I gently called to her and strangely enough, she turned around and followed me into the side yard. The fawn had made it halfway across the neighbor's yard by now...(pardon the quality of the prints, as they were taken with my cell phone)
When the mother turned the corner and heard her baby's cry, her head and ears perked up, and she walked the length of the fence to get to her!
What a precious sight! While I was worrying about what I was going to do to help, nature had a quiet miracle ready for me to witness.
I'm glad I waited long enough for it to unfold.
And I'll be looking for that same beauty in a few things this week, things that I have been trying to figure out, or plan for, without success. I'll wait long enough for them to unfold.
River fountains splash joy, cooling God's city, this sacred haunt of the Most High. God lives here, the streets are safe, God at your service from crack of dawn. Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten, but Earth does anything he says. Psalm 46:4-6 The Message
in the stillness today seeking that sacred haunt and the fountain of refreshing