If you look at the flower patch in the yard beside my rock wall, your first instinct may be to ask me what happened to them. Were they trampled? Were some of them eaten by bunnies or deer? Attacked by a goat? They aren’t evenly spaced, some leaning over. It’s a haphazard flower patch. It looks rough until you consider that I didn’t plant any of these flowers. The birds planted them or the wind planted them. This flower patch is a product of the universe, despite not being tended or cared for or nurtured.
When I went out this morning to pull the weeds, I discovered the flower patch. I was pleasantly surprised by their bright, colorful faces. They were dropped beside a pile of rocks, and they bloomed anyway. They drew me to them. I gently pulled the weeds away. Because they had been dropped or blown there, most of their root systems were resting on topsoil so I piled up dirt around them, making them more secure. Just this small bit of nurturing made a difference for them. If you were to get close to them, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them and the flowers growing in the yard outside the governor’s mansion, which have been well tended all summer.
People are the like flower patch. Some didn’t get the nurturing they needed. Some never got to put down strong roots. Others had a rocky, unforgiving environment to try to do their growing in. If we judge from afar, if we don’t take into consideration their background and what struggles they may have been through, we may see them as scraggly or even hopeless. But once we get to know them, to really see them and understand who they are in the context of their lives, we may develop an appreciation for the miracles they are. They are here, still standing, and that takes bravery and resilience. Some days, just standing is the only thing they accomplish, but that is enough.
At the beginning of the patch, there are twin bright pink flowers on one stem. Standing proudly, they face the sun. The morning dew makes their leaves glisten. I grab my camera and squat down in front of them, slowly bringing them into focus. I think they are the most beautiful flowers I’ve seen all summer.