Monday, December 7, 2015

An Ode to a Neighbor

My neighbor died recently. We gathered in her flower garden for a memorial service. Comforting words were spoken. Tears shed, smiles and hugs shared. It was one of those moments that linger long after. 

We had just received a few inches of heavy snow. It coated the trees and garden. The setting sun caused everything to sparkle, lifting our heavy spirits. Her ashes were scattered around her precious garden. 

The garden itself is dead right now. What once was thriving and full of color and life is covered by snow. Gray stalks poke through here and there. I have many lilies and irises buried under the barren soil. Most of them given to me from my neighbor.  She had a daylily garden the size of my vegetable garden. She was always so generous. 

“Do you like this one?” “Here, let’s dig up a start.” “How about this one?” I had just started a garden of my own after I moved here. I didn’t have a lot of money to spare for flowers at that time. But I didn’t want to impose on her generosity either.

So I reluctantly said yes, I would love some flowers. Again she was always so generous. Once she and her husband  labored over a deep rooted Baptisia bush to share a start. They literally had to use a pick. I stood there holding this piece of root wondering if it would grow. And they worked so hard to get it for me. Believe me, I babysitted that plant and prayed over it. It flourishes now and seems to get bigger every year. 

Yes the garden is dead now, but next spring will bring new life again. When those irises and daylilies come to life and open their pretty faces, I’ll remember my neighbor. I’m going to smile when my Baptisia bush show their sweet pea like blossoms.  

A gardener grows beautiful things and shares them freely.  When I share  my flowers with a friend, my garden grows all the more. My life is much the same. When I give freely of what God has given me, my life flourishes. 

God has done a wonderful work in you. He has planted beautiful things within you. Share those beauties with those needy ones around you. You have much to give. 

“When someone gives another person a flower, the fragrance of the flower lingers on the hands of the giver.” Unknown

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