And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see — or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
— Alice Walker, leading quote to the current Literary Mama edition
I pulled into our driveway yesterday, looking to my left where in our front yard is an island of trees, three large maples that the older three kids have claimed as their own. Below the dense canopy there’s a hosta that survived the summer drought a couple of years ago, lots of creeping ground cover and even more monkey grass. What I noticed mostly, though, is the variety of seedlings emerging on the periphery of this island.
Naturally, the monkey grass extends its boundaries as far as it
can, and the honeysuckle, a bush on the other side of the driveway, is generous with its seeds, too. We have more than enough maple seedlings, but occasionally an oak will appear or redbuds. Last summer I transplanted a wild tea rose (that’s what I’m calling it, anyway) that this summer has grown tremendously and throws its thorny stems every which way.
Now there’s one of those pear trees that are so popular in subdivisions (and that I can’t stand when they’re in bloom because they absolutely stink!) growing on the edge. It came from our neighbor whose own tree was blown over in a storm. I thought about transplanting the tree into the neighbor’s now vacant ring. After all, she had wanted a tree like that. I don’t.
And isn’t that the way it goes. Often we are given that which we’d rather not have. Wouldn’t life be easier if my mind weren’t so open. Wouldn’t tending to the yard be easier if things didn’t grow so rampantly? But gardens are beautiful in their bounty and growth (even if the raspberries are weighed down now), and being open allows you the potential to receive more than you knew was possible. Sometimes we just have to take the seeds we’re given, let them grow, help them as we can, and enjoy the harvest.
Nurture nature and yourself, your gifts and talents. We may just be surprised at what pops up next.