I am almost embarrassed to share what was in my top ten of most anxious triggers during our dive into sub-zero temperatures in Texas last month. I was assured by my husband that our pipes did not run in our attic, so the threat of pipes bursting wasn’t it. I was used to no power black-out conditions in Lebanon, so that wasn’t it. I even felt a bit nostalgic while experiencing total dark silence in the evenings, reading instead of watching TV. We didn’t have a TV growing up, so that wasn’t it. We did have a gas stove in my mom’s kitchen, so I did feel a bit of a pinch with my own dead electric range, but that wasn’t my main stressor either.
What washed over me each new frozen dawn was grief concerning my iced over garden. All that joyful prep work that I had tilled into my home-grown, compost-enriched soil was dead, dead, dead. The plants that I grieved for the most were the large, crimson, multi-ruffled, irreplaceable poppies that had just showed themselves as bright, green, seedlings right before the storm blew in. For you see, I had been gifted these special poppy seeds by an old farmer gentleman years ago. This particular poppy is not found in any of my glossy seed catalogues. My grief over the frozen jewels increased with each successive ice-storm day.
However, after a whole frozen week, as Texas reversed to its normal February temperatures, the ice melted and to my astonishment, the once iglooed poppy seedlings were still there, a little stressed on the edges, but still there! I fell to my knees, sobbed out loud, and cried tears of ecstatic relief as I touched these amazing frost biten survivors. Some of the taller seedlings had burnt edges, but the tiniest ones looked all perky and anxious to make up for lost time.
Isn’t that just what the depth of our realness, our soul, looks like sometimes? We mature into our strident self-assured smug ways, and feel insulated from the oncoming storms. It’s when we retain or recapture a measure of our young, idealistic, curious natures that we can eagerly flourish with open-hearted abandon despite the inevitable storms.
Thank you, my precious poppy seeds for teaching me yet another gardening life truth. My anxious, frozen heart is unclenching, eager to see what other surprises come my way.
What needs thawing out in your soul these days?
In a garden
Delight to the senses
Splash of red beside carnations
Scarlet soporific exquisiteness
Beauteous tricksters of nature
Stand out among the pink