What I didn’t do…

Published 4:17 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My scraggly zinnias appear quite forlorn these days. The scorching temperatures along with my sporadic watering of late have left them barely hanging on. What grand plans I had on that beautiful spring morning when I so lovingly placed them in the ground. This was the year when I would valiantly face the daunting heat and keep my flowers looking healthy and vibrant until the season’s end.

For a few days I looked at this sad excuse of a flowerbed outside my sunroom window and felt defeated. It didn’t look anything like I had envisioned. One more time I had not measured up. When was I going to get it right?

After a while I began to ponder the situation. While it is true that I didn’t quite reach my goal, I came closer, I believe, than ever before. For most of the summer the plants that now look so forlorn had provided a bright spot of color on the backyard landscape. Butterflies and bees had flitted from flower to flower drinking in their sweet nectar while an occasional hummer also whizzed by in search of sustenance.

I did get weary and fell short during the dry, dusty end of summer days. But I did other things as well. I did go to the local garden center to select plants that would grow in a sunny spot. I did plant the flowers and mulch them. I did fertilize and water this little garden throughout the long, hot, humid days. I did pull weeds and pick off the faded flowers so that others would have a chance to bloom.

On occasion, I fall for the temptation to think of the times I have missed the mark and get discouraged. But no one ever really fails until they throw up their hands in defeat and stop pressing on. So I’ll just keep right on working to accomplish the desires that God has placed in my heart.

When the publisher rejects my manuscript, I’ll do a rewrite and try again. When that hard to love person doesn’t change, I’ll love them from a distance. When I’m faced with a new challenge and I’m afraid I’ll fail, I’ll do it afraid.

I will pull up my faded plants, and unfulfilled dreams. I’ll place them on the compost heap of life and let them return to the soil to one day enrich and nourish a new crop.

When the new plants arrive I’ll once more delight in the array of splendid colors and marvelous scents. I’ll take my precious time choosing just the right ones and gently place them in the ground. I’ll mulch them, weed them, and fertilize them. I may even water them with tears, but water them I will.

What I didn’t do before is of little consequence, really. What I will do in the future remains to be seen, but I’m beginning to think this could be my best garden ever.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.