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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pruning, Faith, and the Lenten Season

I just finished pruning my three rose bushes the other day, and hats off to you gardeners who have many roses to keep up with!  As I worked, I had the feeling that I had never done this before and that I was going to wind up with ruined plants.  I also kept returning to the idea that there could be no better metaphor for FAITH than that of a gardener pruning her roses. 
It is counter intuitive to take a big, healthy rose bush which gave me lovely flowers last season and whack away half of its mass and most of its folliage!  Why would I do such a  thing?  I do it because rosarians who have been doing this crazy pruning thing testify to the miraculous results it brings to their beloved roses, that's why.

As obvious as this is, I wonder why I have such a hard time following the advice and example of Jesus and the holy people who have written or perhaps even spoken to me? You know the kind of wisdom: the first will be last, and the last, first.  Or: one who seeks to save his/her life will lose it, but if that one loses (willingly gives over that life to God's service)  her life, she will save it.

I think that this spiritual pruning is harder for me to follow than the horticultural kind because it takes longer to see the results of the work.  And also, because I am the one to be pruned and that doesn't feel good!  I want to let myself grow in chaotic, random ways like an uncultivated plant in the garden! 
So I wish you good luck in whatever type of "gardening" you do this lent.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Gift

This Valentine's Day I gave my children and my God-children and their sibs the book pictured right.  I stumbled on it while browsing The Paper Place, a fun store which I felt would have some special find for me that day.  I am so excited to have found this book: it's full of great advice of the sort which has taken me years and years to collect on my own!  How did Austin Kleon (working and blogging from Austin, TX)  get so smart about creativity?  Well, I don't have the answer to that question yet, but I bet he was paying attention. He was wide awake AND he was taking notes - as he advises in his little book. 

If you're interested in being encouraged in your creativity, whether you think of yourself as an artist or not, please put this book on your list of valuable resources! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's Alive!

This morning I discovered a visitor to the pond when I opened the skimmer filter box.

It's exciting to see my recently created pond (November 2012) coming to life bit by bit. First, the algae, then mysterious swimming bugs, then those water-walking bugs.  The few minnows I put in several weeks ago are surviving, and today... my froggie friend!

Here's a view of the pond as it is now.  When the weather warms a bit more I will complete the rock work on the waterfall and pond ledges.