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March 12, 2009

plantladyI’m currently in that quandary that occurs every year at this time. I’m envious of my neighbor’s lawns. When I see their newly planted trees reaching up to the sky all green and full I’m inspired to give it the ole college try, again. I love their colorful annuals and I really like the manicured lawns edged with tweezers and scissors and lined with red mulch as though everything had been set off with a redwood frame. It’s beautiful!

I want a yard like theirs! That brings me to the “Plant Lady.” She is a wonderful lady who has one of those yards I lust for. She is doing her annual cleaning out, adding new and trimming up which leaves her with extra plants she, “hates to throw away;” banana trees, iris plants, and some other things with big green leaves. So I fill the back of my SUV with her generosity and then off to Lowes I go. I buy top soil, “red” mulch and believe it or not I bought 300 pounds of cow poop. That’s right cow poop! Actually, this part was kind of fun. Guys, you know what I mean; isles and isles of saws, shovels, mowers, grills….( I’ve got to stop, I’m getting dizzy.) Now I have everything I’m going to need for the job. I don’t even mind unloading the hundreds of pounds of bagged stuff I’ve bought.

 But, this soon turns into work! It’s at this point that I feel the pains of “Spring Remorse.” That feeling that asks the question, “What have you done stupid?” I realize that I’ve gone too far to turn back. I can’t tell the sweet “Plant Lady” that I want to give her plants back. I can’t tell my sweet wife that I am too much of a sissy to dig a couple of holes and plant a few “little ole” plants. And by this time I have more of my manhood invested than I’m willing to walk away from.

 Well, I’ve made some progress. I spent a half a day digging up grass to make a flowerbed in the back yard. Then, I literally drag my filthy, sweaty, exhausted body into a hot bathtub and collapse into the soothing waters. But while I am lying there I am hearing the voices in my head saying over and over again, “All of this work and you haven’t planted the first plant. What have you done? What have you done? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??????” (Well, that’s a little over the top but I hope it helps for effect.)

 Did I mention that I have planted three trees since I moved here over three years ago and all of them have died? That’s right! Not only is this more work than I ever intended to get into but my guess is that it’s all going to burn up in the hot Mississippi sun. I guess I could quit and forget the whole thing but it just doesn’t seem right.

 Lord, have you ever experienced a “Spiritual Remorse.” Are there times when You consider the incredible amount of hard work and sacrifice You’ve invested in me and asked Yourself, “What have I done?” Do you ever recall the millions and millions of blessings, thousands and thousands of restarts, unlimited sacrifice, endless love, out pouring of your Spirit, disciplining me, challenging, lifting me, reproving me, forgiving, etc. etc. etc. and ask, “What have I done? What have I done? WHAT HAVE I DONE??????” Especially when you recall that I often allow the potential of all of this generosity and love to die within me from neglect.

 I’m hoping that this year the “Plant Lady’s” faith in me will not be disappointed. I’m really going to work hard and keep looking for some blooms and green leaves to show You (Lord) for YOUR generosity.  I’ll keep working on the soil.

 Wow, this gardening thing is a lot of hard work isn’t it!

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