They are everywhere. I’m not good with identification, but I’ve seen over 30 of these reddish-brown, (what I think are) hornworm pupa. Hidden not far beneath the surface of the cool, damp earth in my garden beds, they wiggle a bit when you pick them up. My daughter says when the neighbor boy squishes the pods, they ooze white goo.
I’ve never had a green thumb, but I love beauty, so I keep trying. You name any plant, and I’ve probably killed it, from aloe vera to ivy. Oddly enough, the one plant I did manage to keep alive was a stunning, white orchid from Ikea. We lived in Maryland then, and I think the moisture rich air did most of the work for me. All I did was leave the plant on the patio and watered it whenever I went out for a smoke, which wasn’t very often. That was a long time ago. Over nine years, it feels like a different lifetime.
My husband was a teacher then, working a lot of long hours. My oldest was just a baby, but a really intelligent, talkative type of baby who you could have real conversations with. I struggled to get pregnant in between our oldest two girls, which ended with corrective surgery, so the biggest gap in years is between them. Ophelia was an only child for three long years, after that, siblings abounded.
Back then, our condo was on the second floor of a three-story building, so the only gardening I could do was in pots. Now, our new home is on a fair sized lot. I have a beautiful tree in the front yard that I don’t know the name of, but the flowers look like fondant cake decorations.
One of the previous owners put down some tarp, just beneath the dirt in all the flower beds, which bothers me. I enjoy pulling weeds; it is cathartic. There are remnants of decorative bark and rocks scattered around, slowly, they will all go away. I think elderly folks must have put it in because clearly children didn’t factor into their decisions. Rocks are for throwing and bark is to be glued into dioramas. Dill grows wild here, so weeding smells like pickles. There’s ivy, and succulent ground cover and several mystery plants. I have my work cut out for me. But there are also roses, lilies, and raspberry plants, all of which I love.
I think it is kind of funny that I never did much landscaping before I had a passel of kids, you know, back when I had tons of free time. Now I try to keep all four of them interested as I work. We find cool bugs, I loosen up the earth so they can pull weeds themselves, and we make little habitats for caterpillars and pill bugs out of empty, plastic strawberry containers. Eventually, they lose interest and run off to play with friends. I stay outside, listening for any potential drama worthy of a Mommy Intervention.
My life is full to the brim with different types of disorganization. Kids who are still learning boundaries and manners, endless laundry, dirt brought through my house dozens of times a day on the bottoms of callused, summer feet (mine included). The garden desperately needs to be tamed, but I’m still buried in unpacking moving boxes. Having post-traumatic stress disorder also requires a good deal of mental and emotional organization. My responsibility is to take all the chaos and transform it into a reflection of the God we worship, the Alpha & Omega, the magnificent Creator; beautiful, helpful and glorious. It’s a tall order to fill.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
There was nothing, and He spoke light into being. He separated the light from the dark, the first day and night, and it was good. But then, He waited until the next day to tackle His second project (verse 5). It makes me wonder why. It wasn’t like He needed a nap. He could have easily done all the work on His checklist in the blink of an eye, but He didn’t. He repeats this pattern throughout the first week of the World’s life. Labor, admiration, night then day. On the seventh day, God breaks the pattern,
“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3)
I think God was thinking of us when He created the six-day work week. Before the advent of mankind, He knew we’d tire, that we needed to sleep, that we would burn out. He didn’t want that for us. He loves us. I think He also knew we’d be slow to learn, so He taught us through both word and example; work for a day, appreciate the fruits of your labor and rest. Don’t worry if you have more to do, tomorrow you’ll be rested and ready to get back to work. God, with all His rightful authority, reserved Sunday to be the great day of rest. No work allowed, simply rejoice and rest.
I’m looking at my yard. There is so much to do, and I’m continually interrupted by more important responsibilities, like feeding my children and wiping away tears and dressing skinned knees. Deep breath. I don’t need to worry or stress, I will do the work set before me today, and tonight, I will rest. Tomorrow is Sunday; we will eat pre-made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and go to church. We will sing praises to Him, meditate on His word and fellowship with one another. When we get home, we’ll eat more yummy food, we might watch a movie or take a nap, we’ll eat again and then we will sleep. Monday, I can get back to work.