Lessons from Morning Glories
October 10, 2013
This morning I was blessed with a surprise on a cloudy, windy, grey day. Bill called to me and said, "Peg, you have got to see the morning glories!" It is October. A chilling wind has been in the air for several years and yet, long after all our summer plantings have completed their flowering and have been cleared out for our beautiful fall pansies. Never mind!, says the Morning Glories long forgotten and ignored growing by the side of our storage shed. They flourished, these little, fragile bursts of color that unfurl with each new morning resting on rich, green, heart shaped leaves. And all we did last Spring was buy a package of seeds for one dollar, place them in tiny cups and they took hold. They grew slowly, so slowly that we had both given up on one tray of them. Bill had placed them in the top of the trashcan and I grabbed them at the last moment and set them under a bush that cornered the shed. The other tray, he planted on the side of the shed and placed a simple wooden latticed frame against the shed for them to crawl up, if they made it. We watched unimpressed all summer as they weakly creeped up the frame never producing a single flower. We began to second guess our decision to plant them and decided that South Carolina is too hot in the summer for the flowers who love to grow on mountainsides. And yet, we have planted them every years because my dad often called me to wake up with, "Rise and shine Morning Glory!" When Bill and I were writing to me while we were early in our relationship, he would tell me how his dad loved Morning Glories and had taught him how to plant them in window boxes on the railing of the deck, run cotton string from the roof line to the boxes and watch them crawl up the string. When we married, we began planting them in the boxes in memory of both of our dads.
You see the love for Morning Glories began with memories of the dads we miss daily. Those memories were the seeds planted in our hearts and minds that motivated us to plant them. Both he and I still had memories that bordered sadness when they came to visit. As grief slowly lets go of its smothering grip and becomes memories it transitions into a final phase of memories that often bring a smile. Those Morning Glories were the final phase for us with those memories we carry in our hearts.
The Morning Glories that burst forth from their buds and unfurled in brilliant colors this morning brought us sheer amazement, joy and happiness. Because of the seeds our dads first planted and our little pack of seeds that we planted mid-summer we have moved from memories of sadness to memories of joy and gratitude for two great dads.
Dear Heavenly Father,
When we feel our efforts are failing and we begin to doubt our decisions remind us that all things happen in their season. When patience fails us and faith leaves us in our own efforts to do good speak to our hearts and remind us that a walk of faith is just exactly that...a walk....of faith. Thank you for moving our deep grief to a place of grateful memories. Thank you for opening our eyes to the beauty of your world and allowing it to refresh and bless our lives.
In Jesus' Name,