Both of my neighbors on either side of our home could have their lawns featured in some gardening magazine or website. They have carefully manicured yards with flowers and shrubs placed strategically throughout the landscape. I am sandwiched between them with weeds growing on the dirt that has collected on back deck for the past three years. The grass under the largest tree in our backyard met an untimely death during a freeze in 2007 or what is it 2008?
Both of my next door neighbors continue to be extremely nice to me. They are fully aware that I work odd hours. And I am sure they suspicion that ministers are not necessarily known for their green thumb. (I have chosen not to point out to them that Catholic Monks are some of the finest gardeners around.) But all of that is about to change.
I have turned over a new leaf. (No pun intended.) I carefully scalped the yard last week. I planted grass under the big tree. I bagged enough leaves to fill the landfill up completely. Today I went on a double headed mission to Walmart and Lowe’s. I tilled up a nice spot and planted a small garden. I planted flowers in the pots on our deck. And I saw my neighbors huddled up this morning. No doubt they were discussing my present mental state. They must have been saying: what has gotten into him?
By the time the sun began to set this evening I was feeling just a tad sore. I sat on the deck and looked over my handiwork as the sprinkler soaked the parched soil that has not had much attention beyond what the Texas rains bring annually. I could actually see the newly planted grass begin to have a stand throughout the area I planted. It was such a good feeling to see a sign of life and rejuvenation. I think I have decided this yard work may not be so bad after all.
I also need to be reminded that my primary role in life is to put the same kind of energy into the lives of people. I frequently encounter individuals whose lives resemble my neglected yard. It is not a pretty sight. There is a need for renewal and reclamation on multiple levels. I must also be reminded that after weeks or months of hard work I might just see a sign of life and rejuvenation. That is an important reminder: don’t give up just because things look really bad on the outside!
I wonder if the magazine my mother used to read called “Better Homes and Garden” still exists”? (Yes, my mother was a wonderful gardener.) I had better get things in order. No doubt they will want to a cover story on my newly created masterpiece!