Grow and Bloom
As I was walking into the beauty of outdoors and the morning splendor yesterday, I looked with deep intention at the plants and birds and all of creation which surrounded me. Spending a few days regularly each month at The Retreat House is a true blessing as it is located on about 5 acres of diocesan owned property which truly feels like a thin space. The new memorial garden honoring a beloved family friend of a community resident was already attracting birds and butterflies just hours after it had been planted. It was as if they had been patiently awaiting this new gift and welcomed it with their presence. It seems to be how God waits for us to show up…patiently and lovingly.
On the stoop are potted plants and 2 of them have caught my eye recently. They have a history. They are part of a family lineage in some kind of way. These 2 plants were in the home shared with my late father. Three generations of us walked by these 2 house plants for years. As of today they have easily been part of my life for almost 20 years, maybe longer. They are common house plants and easy to maintain. My father died over 9 years ago and the home was sold 9 years ago this month. The plants have moved with me around the Eastern Shore of Maryland since then. As they began a new life outside last spring on the stoop of The Retreat House, they suddenly disappeared; the pots remained but the plants were gone. Maybe the change from indoors to outdoors was too much, maybe the rabbits enjoyed nibbling on them…regardless, they were physically gone. However this morning as I looked at each pot, there was new growth; new shoots and new leaves freshly emerging from the moist soil. God is amazing in how we are shown resurrection all around us….and it is a mysterious process.
Sitting here in a prayerful stance today, a few questions come forth. What about our traditions are we invited to let go of and what needs to be held onto? How is God inviting us to just be still and to trust this mystery? What is about “doing” and “being” that are each quite important? These are questions to consider as we pay attention to what happens amidst the ordinary moments of our lives. We watch nature trust God…the birds and the plants….all of creation. What might The Holy One be inviting us to do as we grow and bloom?
Those potted plants probably have a few more weeks to live outside and then maybe they come indoors again. Fall is descending upon the Mid Atlantic and their tender nature is not conducive to freezing temperatures. I will celebrate them in small and simple acts in the coming months and their sentimental meaning to me will live on. May we all embrace those special parts of our lives that are ordinary and deeply sacred. The wisdom offered and the invitation to grow and bloom might be in our daily lives more than we realize.
May it be so…..
Thanks to our Spiritual Directors, Francie Thayer and Rodney Dean of The Retreat House Hillsboro , for sharing these words with us.