The rain falls outside this evening, a welcome refreshment to the rows of flowers I planted in front of our house along the porch. Pink and white cosmos tall along the back and deep purple petunias and yellow marigolds in the front. I like variety. It's therapeutic, this digging into sun-warmed dirt and building a garden, pulling out weeds and making a place of beauty.
Flower bed planting was always a bit of an event, growing up - going with my mom and sister to the garden center and debating long over choices and dividing up the different flower beds to conquer once we got home. Sunburns and dirt stained knees and then sitting on the front steps swatting away mosquitoes as we surveyed our work later in the evening. (And sometimes participating in icy cold wars with the garden hose.)
These memories came back to me as I planted my own flowers this morning, my first flower garden at our first house.
I remember visiting my grandparents home as a child, the smell of their flowerbeds, marigolds standing high in the sun. The gentle beauty of geraniums and hollyhocks and lilac bushes. They loved flowers and growing things, passing that love along to my mom, who in turn passed it on to me and my sister.
My sister is getting married this June and I wonder if she will find a garden center in her new town and pick out flowers to plant by her own front step. I picture the three of us - my mom, my sister and I - on a summer evening, weeding and watering and tending our little plots.
Why do I love gardening? It's more than the beauty and the colors or even the delicious produce gleaned from a vegetable plot. It's a shared love of creating and cultivating, an enjoyment of simple gifts from God, passed from one generation to the next.