Gardening magazines in January are exercises in faith.
Thinking of growing things when the temperatues are -30 are exercises in hope.
Funny how color and brilliance prepare us for a season of whites and browns. I have begun to recognize the changes of the seasons as part of the way that my Lord teaches me to live my life.
In this particular corner of the world, the summer seemed short and unusually soggy. We decided not to fight the rains, and simply lit a fire in the fireplace when the days seemed dreary... enjoying occasional indoor weiner roasts, and pretended we were camping in the rain.
And these days, with long extended cold snaps, with reports of beauty and warmth in Cuba from quite a few sources ... we just keep on making fires in the fire place. We finished burning the last of our well seasoned poplar trees, which have gone down in our backyard over the years with a wide variety of tree-cutting methods (that will have to be another post).
As the trees have come down, I am trying to figure out what new trees to plant. I have a growing appreciation for the things that take longer to mature (perhaps my strategy of self-defense... our growing age gives us increasing appreciation for other things that take a while to mature). My meanderings through nurseries and greenhouses take me more often into perennials, trees and shrubs than into the annual aisles.
Trees and shrubs are more the backbone of a garden and yard; they seldom draw attention to themselves. Yet they shape, color and flavor the whole yard and park. Birds may stop where they didn't bother to. A child may rest in the shade, not even realizing that the tree filters the harsh mid-day sun. Or that child may look up, figure out a way up, and end up inside the arms of the tree looking out at the world.
They stand tall in the snow, wearing the snow, dancing through the wind, keeping their last few fall leaves stubbornly clutched in their branches. Until sap begins to flow again, pushing fresh green past the dried up leaves.
But that day is not this day.
more than a strategy of self defense ... the planting of shrubs and trees.