What is it about weathered wood boards, young tender plants and an old galvanized pail that creates feelings of nostalgia within us? Is it the simplicity of the past? A longing for those good old days? Yet, our elders say we haven't a clue as to what "the good old days" were like. Then we think of our kids and how they may view the good old days in their adulthood.
Maybe the sight of these things which have weathered the storms and the peace of the past bring back memories of the places and ones we love. For some it will be memories of a grandparent or favorite aunt's house. Maybe working with a parent to plant a garden or new flowers in the window box. The feel and the smell of the rich soft earth filling your hands and nostrils as you gently scoop it around the young plants and pat it down. Some of us will remember the feel of sand, decomposing leaves and tiny stems in the soil while mixing it with a little water to make mud pies and other dining delicacies. Remember the awesome pastry decorations nature provided with the yellow dandelion and purple clover blooms?
Spring blooms and seedlings create excitement as we transition from the gloom and cold of winter to sunshine, fields of color and warmth! It's like having a fresh start. A fresh start can be liberating and full of hope. There's just something about digging in the dirt to plant a garden or flower. It's the anticipation of delicious food and beauty in our future. The joy of once again aiding in the growth and development of a young life. We do all in our power to provide water, nutrients and protection as they grow stronger and mature. Have you ever noticed you can water the garden daily to maintain just the right moisture level and the plants will grow, but when nature sends just a little rain the growth is much faster than when we provide the water? That’s a lot like when we try to be in control of our own destiny and fix our own problems. We are able to grow and survive. But do we truly thrive and reach the ultimate potential as we would if we could trust and rely on God instead of ourselves to handle things? There are many times when we get overwhelmed or have decisions to make. Our thoughts and lives become filled with questions, stress and chaos as we try to find answers and solutions. We always think, “I’ve got this”, until the droughts without the nourishing waters needed for growth come along, or the destruction of unexpected flood waters suck all the life out. Both extremes cause the withering of beauty and the collapse of structure. Our direction could be full of peace and clarity if only we could rely on God for guidance and answers. Will these answers be immediate, what we want or expect? No, not always. But we will have peace as we wait, search and take a different path than we may have intended. Just as plants hang on until the land is once again nourished with needed rain, or flood waters are dried by the sun, so we can hang on to our loving God for strength during our times of drought or flood. There is peace when we rely on the power of God to see us through the storms of life which we have no control over. To me, that's part of the beauty radiating from both the old memories and the new spring growth. I know God was there in the past and he is here today as well as tomorrow! Every spring is the promise of a new beginning, a fresh start. A reminder God will forgive us and nourish new growth in us. All we need to do is toss our confessions on the compost pile and let God turn them into a rich fertile soil for us to plant our lives in. A soil rich in nutrients needed for strong solid growth and beautiful blooms!
A Mattingly - Owner and operator of Our Little Barnyard. Can't believe it's been over twenty years since I started living the farm dream! What an amazing and challenging journey it has been!
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