Hydrangeas, pencil drawing…One of my favorite flowers is the hydrangea.  It is a hearty shrub that survives well in the south and I love the colorful blue and purple bouquet clusters that grow in spite of nasty climate conditions.  In our old house, the first home we owned that was quite small and had a huge yard, hydrangea bushes were one of the few flowers I could count on to grow in spite of my ungreen thumb, small children, and the many dogs we had through the nine years we lived there.  They have become a symbol of a very happy time in our lives when our family had endless adventures in that wondrous yard and humble home.  Occasionally, I drive by the old house and I think how little we had materially in those early years of our family life, but my memories are filled with the joy of small children, now grown and married!  We had what mattered which was a lot of love and though we struggled financially on one income, so I could be at home with the kids, we lived more simply then on far less.

So, when my son Corey and his fiancee’ Sarah gave me hydrangeas for Mother’s Day this year I placed them on the coffee table in the livingroom.  In the morning sunlight they looked so beautiful I had to draw them.  I drew them in several sittings and each time memories of life in the old house would fill my mind.  There wasn’t a single hydrangea bush growing in our yard at our house we have lived in now for thirteen years.  I did have some in pots on the porch that we had bought for Sophia’s bridal shower over a year ago but I never got around to planting them in the yard as I intended.

Corey rectified this situation earlier this summer when the bigger part of his Mother’s Day present was the promise to plant all of them for me in the yard.  He did it right, too!  He weeded and replaced soil with a liner underneath and made this neglected flowerbed in the front yard beautiful with the hydrangeas and a rosebush.  I was so grateful!  But I admit the unbearably hot summer kept me from staying on top of weeding the garden and the poor hydrangeas became overcome with choking weeds and grass.  I just want my newly married son to know that a few weeks ago I finally got to it and found the hydrangeas still surviving.  Wishing those weeds away just wouldn’t get the job done!  As I pulled the weeds I was struck by the metaphor that this is also true of relationships and my spiritual life.  Wishing away the weeds (sin and negative thoughts) choking me just won’t help my garden (my life) grow and sometimes while I sit back and wait through dry periods for the rain to water the flowers and the sunlight to make them grow sometimes I have to take responsibility and help things along by doing the unpleasant work of weeding and watering.  The drawing reminds me to tend to my garden and do the work.

I am grateful for beautiful flowers and the lessons I continually need to learn and relearn!  

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