My Metaphor for the Month

There are very few things that I love as much as I love playing in the dirt. Mowing, weedeating, mulching, getting my hands dirty planting flowers, pruning my roses–all of it.

My Grandma used to tell me to plant flowers by moonlight for good luck. They’ll withstand the heat the entire summer. So each year, by the moonlight, I turn on my iTunes, I get out my flower pots and my potting soil and I plant.

I do my best thinking with my hands in the dirt. And as long as there is soil and sunshine, I’ll never have to pay for therapy, no matter how crazy I get. Because while I’m out there, pruning and shaping, my soul rests and heals from the business of the day. Instead of whirring and spinning, my mind floats. It’s my mental version of a lazy river.

When John and I moved to this house, we got some rose bushes to plant. Whether it was the location, the soil, or just some old fashioned luck, they’ve thrived, and are now taller than Rosebud, herself. We prune them at the beginning and end of each season, but the thing is, they’re getting a bit unruly. And while I was clipping the branches yesterday, a lightbulb went off.

Parenting is a lot like gardening. It’s our job to prune and shape our little flowers. If we hover and control too much, they’ll never be able to get to the sun and really grow like they were intended. But if we never temper them, they’ll grow wild and uneven and their thorns will overtake them. Even though their blooms are still beautiful when they’re wild and overgrown, you won’t be able to see them until you cut back the foliage and trim down their sharp edges.

I’m not saying it’s easy. There are days it would be so much easier to let Rosebud grow wild, and there are days it would be so much easier to just clip back her branches and trample her spirit. Finding and striking that balance is one of the hardest things Doc and I have ever attempted.

But we do try. Every day. Because in the end will stand a beautiful Rosebud that will be able to withstand life’s stormy seasons and life’s sunny seasons because her roots will reach deep and hold strong.

Love and Other Drugs,
E. Hunter W.

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