My middle name means meadow. I have lived well into it: I love the meadows that stretch between mountains. And wildflowers–they are my very favorite. I love how they grow unruly and chaotic, but somehow, they seamlessly slide into a symphony of color. When I finally fell into my own patch of dirt, I tried desperately to grow my own meadow. For years, I tried– unsuccessfully–to grow poppies. They don’t do well in coastal Virginia’s capricious climate. I must have planted a thousand little seeds, and not one– not a single one– took. It was exhausting to plant seeds with expectation and no result. However, there was hope in the sowing of seeds, and as they say: hope dies last. One year, I read to plant the seeds in the autumn. I flung thousands– thousands!– of poppy seeds into my garden; I covered them with a gentle film of soil. They settled deep in the dirt before spring.
Suddenly, April arrived. And with it, a cheerful army of cosmos– purple and magenta daisies as hearty as they are happy– already towered tall to the sky.
Once when I was on my way to work, I surveyed my garden– and from the ground, I saw: two tiny poppy plants. Finally. They continued to grow. I yielded 5– maybe 6– healthy flowers.They swayed to the fragile rhythm of an early spring’s breeze. It wasn’t the meadow I hoped for. But they were beautiful: blush, fire, and scarlet. I loved them, as I had dreamed of them for so long. Though their bloom was transient, a passerby may have enjoyed the flowers, too. And often, outside observers see only the result. What they don’t see, though– the process of the planting– and sometimes–the pain–the frequent failures along the way. And so, to encourage you, in whatever it is you’re trying so hard to do–“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9, NIV).