Thursday, April 16, 2009

The dogwoods in our neighborhood this year are absolutely incredible. I probably think that every Spring, but somehow, this year seems different. Almost every yard has at least one of varying sizes and shapes, mostly white, but there are few pink ones. Driving down some streets you see a mass of white blooms, while in other places the white is sprinkled in with evergreens. No matter the landscape, they are truly beautiful. I am reminded of visiting the Kukenhof (sp?) Gardens outside of Amsterdam with Marty several years ago. We would look at a bed of flowers and think there couldn't possibly be another as beautiful. Then, we'd round a curve in the sidewalk and change our minds about what was most beautiful. Thus, the dogwoods in the neighborhood. Each one seems to be more beautiful than the one before it.
As I said to someone, we are being teased with Spring. We'll have a few warm days and then wake up to frost. The storms that continue rolling through the area are typical for this time of year and for this part of the country, though they are worse closer to the Gulf Coast. That's my opinion anyway. Fortunately, the fickle weather hasn't hurt the aforementioned dogwoods or the azaleas. Spring always brings out suppressed planting urges which are not deterred by my two brown thumbs. The yard men came to start pruning and cleaning up from winter last week and will hopefully finish this week. One of their biggest jobs will be to uproot, dig out, destroy all the privet hedge that has sprung up all over the back. The teacher in me tells me there is a spiritual parallel.
A raised bed planted with perennials and flowering shrubs was put in by a former owner. I'm sure it was pretty at one time, but privet threatens to overtake it. I have tried cutting it back and pulling up the sprigs that don't have established root systems, but it grows right back. As much as I try, I can't get to the roots. I should be as diligent attacking bad habits and "little" sins that threaten to overtake me. Those habits and sins have to be uprooted, not just cut back or they will continue to flourish and grow like the privet.
God's creation is full of lessons for the Christian. Take what we plant, whether it be bulbs, vegetables or grass. All need to be fed and watered, given the proper nourishment and light requirements. So do we need to be fed and nourished by the Word and encouraged by other Christians.
Enjoy God's beauty in your neighborhood and in your own backyard.
Pastor Margaret

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