The other day I was in a Primo truck, chatting away with a gardener after lunch time. Suddenly we were flagged down by a visitor. We promptly reversed. What happened next is something that probably haunts most gardens in mid August, but it never ceases to make my face turn slightly red and my heart to start beating a tiny bit faster. Here it comes...
"Umm, excuse me... Where are all the flowers?"
I understand the concern, kinda. Not really. But maybe. When it's August the summer blooming things have largely finished and the fall blooming things haven't quite started. Therefore, the garden is mostly green. So we kindly explained the difference between a woodland garden and a display garden, and we continued on (with a slightly disgruntled spirit).
You might ask yourself, "Self, isn't a garden so much more than just pretty flowers?"
I thought no one would ever ask! Let's be friends.
I think the garden in August is spectacular. The trees, the understory of ferns and hostas, the way the light moves through the leaves, the views out from hills into meadows of Queen Anne's Lace, and the giggles of kids coming from the Enchanted Woods... It never ceases to take my breath away. Yet some people miss all that the August garden has to offer because they arrive with the expectation of bright pink azaleas, hills of daffodils, and speckles of purple primrose dancing in their heads. Their expectations cloud their ability to appreciate the beauty right before their eyes.
Sunday in church we sang the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness." As the words rang through the chapel, I realized how guilty I am of committing this same act of ungratefulness in my life due to the many false expectations I have created in my head. I go looking for flowers and find myself disappointed in the midst of a beautifully lush woodland garden of the Lord's handiwork.
Summer and winter and spring time and harvest / Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness / To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love
Great is Thy faithfulness / Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see / All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
I am the falsely assuming garden visitor looking for only pretty flowers. Say it isn't so! Life will be filled with times of flowers. They are thrilling little colorful surprises in the garden of life. But flowers are also fleeting, here one day and gone the next. Therefore, our joy cannot be founded upon something as ephemeral as the flowering times of life. Morning by morning the Lord's mercies are made new. If only I would stop long enough to notice.