Last Saturday, I dug up a climbing rose that I’d lovingly nurtured for nearly five years and threw it away. It had a serious disease, one that could spread to other rosebushes, so it wasn’t salvageable.
After removing the rose, I began to dig a hole a couple of feet away for another plant. Almost immediately, I hit something hard with my shovel—not an uncommon occurrence in my garden’s rocky soil. I discovered, however, that it wasn’t a rock I’d hit, but a brick, buried under at least eight inches of soil. I pulled the brick out of the ground and put my shovel in again—clunk! Another brick. And another. And another. By the time I called it a day, I’d dug up around twenty-five bricks, and I couldn’t stop smiling.
You see, my garden beds are edged in old bricks that I salvaged from various places on my property…under the porch, from a partially dismantled brick walk, etc. However, there’s one bed between the wall of my little porch-turned-office and my driveway that had no edging. I only had a few bricks left, not nearly enough to line the entire section, and I was certain that I’d found all the bricks that were there to be found. A couple of weeks ago, I’d been thinking how nice it would be if I could find a source for free bricks, just enough to edge that one bed. Suddenly, here they were!
What are the odds?
Once again, my garden had provided me with a life lesson. As anyone who gardens knows, gardening is all about doing the best you can and accepting whatever comes, including loss. You carefully plant and water and feed and nurture…then a squirrel or a bug or drought or disease shows up, and there goes all your effort. It’s never easy, but it’s part and parcel of gardening—and life.
However, if we keep our eyes and our hearts open, we can find the blessings in our losses. The friend who comes and stays and holds your hand, literally and figuratively, as you go through your dark night. The mechanic who lets you pay over time so that you can have your car back and still pay for groceries. The kind word offered when you most need to hear it.
I’ve struggled recently with keeping my eyes on the blessings in my life, so this lesson from my garden was well timed. I have so much to be grateful for, and the brick edging for my garden bed will serve as a tangible reminder for me to stop and count my blessings.
Oh, and there’s another lesson tucked into this story as well: the Universe may provide, but you’re probably going to have to do some of the work.