I love my flower garden. I love the life bursting within it, the movement of pattern and color, the meeting of stone and soil and plant matter, and even the backbreaking work it creates. It inspires me, challenges me, gives me moments of true joy and peace, and reminds that there is always hope.
But I have a bit of a secret. Sometimes I love it even more in the wintertime.
In the spring and summer, the garden is a noisy mass of expectations. Weeds must be pulled; the dead growth must be removed to provide space for new growth to emerge; plants need to be divided, replanted; there is mulching, and watering, etc, etc. There are busy bees and ants, butterflies and ladybugs, mosquitoes and crickets all voraciously announcing their presence.
But in the wintertime, there are no expectations. There is no cutting back, weeding, mulching, digging, path-laying, developing, planning, watering, fertilizing, and so on. There is only silence. It’s beautiful. It’s powerful. It’s alive.
It is as alive in silent winter as it is in busy summer.
As much as the work and activity and caretaking during the spring and summer fill my heart and spirit, the waiting winter months fill me with:
There is power in patience and there is virtue in rest. There is a time for things to live and burst forth in bloom, and a time for things to die or rest in slumbering silence.
I am reminded of this almost weekly, when my mother-in-law (and my friend) comes over to watch my wee ones while I have a few hours to myself. Whether I’m grocery shopping, visiting the doctor, cutting the grass, or a myriad of other kid-free activities, I am usually silent. And I usually turn off the radio. And I am rarely on the phone or texting or words with friends-ing, or whatever else can fill me with turbulence and tumult.
It makes for a better, stronger me when I enter back into my world of bedlam and boisterousness.
Just like a long winter’s nap empowers a cacophony of spring blooms and re-awakened glorious-ness.
(Now if only I could figure out how to hold on to that powerful, peaceful feeling when the kids start whining 10 minutes after I come home or the garden is overrun with weeds within days. Hmmm… But that’s another post.)