Mama had a keen touch when it came to nourishing flowers and plants. They all flourished beautifully at her hands. I never could copy her knack, and it certainly wasn’t an inherited trait.
So, when I inherited her prize winning pink lady rose bush, I had to pray for God to grow me a green thumb.
One morning, I pulled my gardening tools out of the shed and knelt in the dirt. I was going to have to create a special place for these roses. I had labored for days over the decision. Now, it was play time. I dug in the dirt as a five year old set on making mud pie. My hand shovel sunk into the dirt with a swoosh, and brought the earth to the surface, leaving a growing hole in which to deposit the rose bush. I felt the black dirt squish between my fingers. Leaning back onto my feet, I breathed in the fresh Texas air and allowed it to penetrate deep into my lungs. The breeze tousled my already messy hair. It sent goosebumps down my arms.
As I placed the roots into the dirt and covered them back up, I thought of Mama and the thousands of times I watched her do this very thing. When I was a kid playing in the yard, as a teenager always itching to get away, and as an adult hoping to be like her some day. I hoped I could create a happy, healthy home for my family as Mama had done for us. We might not have had much, but we had love and joy, food on the table every night, and fresh cut roses from Mama’s garden.
I could see her plush white hair floating and dancing in the wind as she took her shears to her prized blooms, carefully selecting the best to place on her table. The smell, oh the sweet smell of those roses. I realized why Mama took so much care, time, and effort in her garden. It was for us, yes. We certainly got to enjoy the fruits of her labor. But, this was actually kind of fun. Playing in the dirt, working with nature, feeling the sun and sky on my skin, this was therapeutic. It actually felt good to help and guide God’s creations.
I looked around my yard. It wasn’t the plush, flowery fantasy land my mama had, but it was a big, well manicured yard. We had managed to create a pretty and enjoyable space for our family to play and relax. I prayed Mama’s roses would take root and grow big and beautiful. I prayed the buds would come in so I could have some blooms for my table. The smell, oh the sweet smell of those roses.