The sowing of seed satisfies my deep need to participate in the quotidian mystery of life. As I scratch the surface of soil and scatter my few precious seeds I’m practicing the ancient art of propagating beauty in the canvas of soil. One moment seed. Days later, with the nurture of earth and sun and water, something green reaches for light from the dark recesses of the earth. Where else but the garden can one so easily witness an everyday miracle of God?
The snake in paradise is that I forget which seeds I’ve sown. The old adage — out of sight, out of mind — describes my gardening practice to a tee. Some tender green shoot springs up from the garden’s surface. And for the life of me or it, I can’t identify it. Weed or flower? No snap judgments will do, as life hangs in the balance.
The discernment process is never easy. I wait leaf by leaf for answers to be revealed. When will it unfurl its true leaves and colors to offer me a hint? Too often impatience causes me pull out what I judged as weed to learn later it was flower. My hasty hand has executed more poppies than I care to count and just last week, one of my new tender Gaillarida flowers pregnant with bloom. To an unfamiliar eye, flower foilage can look an awful lot like weed.
Gardening teaches me that answers are rarely black and white. Flower or weed. Good or evil. Even the good book teaches that God makes his sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. One gardener’s flower can be another gardener’s weed. Red and yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight.