I’ve loved writing this story. I could have gone on and on. But I have things to do, so it ends today. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
What had she done? She turned the key over in her hand, reading the tag, letting the implications sink in. The visitor had knocked on her door yesterday while she’d been making dinner.
“I believe this was meant for you,” she said as she held out the key to her. “I was going to keep it, but it didn’t feel right.”
“It fell out when I was planting the peony. I think you were meant to find it? Or did you put it there? Either way, I left the plant on your steps. Maybe you were meant to keep it?
And then she turned and walked back through the door, leaving the woman wondering what had just happened.
It had been weeks since leaving his garden and she’d had a hard time readjusting her heart. Now it was shocked back into the past – the numb walk she’d made home the day she was told that she was no longer a welcome visitor. She’d grown accustomed to her quiet days that had a loneliness sprinkled with happiness about them. She’d learned a lot about herself, but not enough to say she was okay.
A few days ago she’d come across a hidden bunch of daffodils in an overgrown clump of grass on the outer edges of her land. As she looked at them and thought about how much she understood them- how no one would enjoy them unless they, like her, stumbled into them – a scripture came to her mind to teach her:
“Consider the lilies of the field; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these….Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field….shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith.”
She knew she was beautiful inside and out, even with her flaws. But she was also lonely. How much alike she and those flowers were. But they were different, too. She wasn’t a flower. She could move around and do as she pleased, just as she’d taken that walk to his garden two years ago. But she realized now that she had her own garden to tend. It wasn’t perfect, but it needed her. It brought her a lot of joy as well. Her needs, those that she’d had filled by her visits to the Gardener’s, would have to be met in her own garden. She had to have faith that there would be visitors to her sanctuary as well. Her job was to bloom where she’d planted herself and nurture with gratitude everything she’d been given. There was no other way. But it wasn’t enough to change her heart until now.
After being given the key, her heart and mind started putting the pieces of the puzzle together for her. She knew just what she was going to do. With brown paper lunch sacks she went from plant to plant, gathering seeds from blooming flowers. She labeled them so as not to forget what she’d collected, sorting them into homemade seed packets when she was done.
“These are for you,” she said with a smile. ” They’re annuals, but they’ll self-seed.”
“I know,” he smiled back. “I’m a gardener. Remember?” And they both laughed.
“What took you so long? Why didn’t you come back right away?”
“It’s a long story for another day. But I needed to learn how to give what I have and not to take what isn’t mine. These seeds are mine to give.”
“Want to come see the new footbridge?” he asked. “I spent a week fixing it.”
She giggled remembering the lilies. “I can for a minute. But then I have to go home.”
And they walked back through the garden gate into his sanctuary.