Friday, February 1, 2013

Dreams In The Mailbox

Back in the not so distant past, before the age of digital "everything," gardeners far and wide would wait with great anticipation for the mailman to deliver the new year's crop of seed and flower catalogues. Nothing brightened the dark days of winter as well as those beautiful, glossy pages filled with the dreams of what their gardens could be. The reality of how they would actually turn out was of little consequence. In their minds eye, as they gazed out over their barren, snow-covered yards, they saw a blaze of color, lush foliage and blue ribbon veggies.

My own personal dream was all about roses. I love roses. My mother loved roses. It didn't matter what color or variety, whether they were shrub roses or heirlooms, I loved them all. The problem was that I just couldn't grow them. Every year when the catalogues arrived in my mailbox, I would drool over the pages and pages of roses like a puppy staring at the box of biscuits on the kitchen counter. I was certain that if I just found the right ones that could acclimate with my yard, I would eventually have a profusion of roses that would be the envy of the neighborhood.

I amended the soil. I moved them to different parts of the garden. I watered, I feed, I pleaded and begged. It didn't matter if they were top of the line or bargin brands ... they just never made it.

What I could grow, however, were begonias. Every color, every variety, they all flourished under my hands. When I had to give up my garden for an apartment in order to be closer to where the jobs were (I cried for a month over that one), I dug up my begonias and took them with me. There on my screened-in porch 3 flights up my begonias bloomed away, greeting me every day when I came home from work and sharing my morning coffee with me on the weekends.  There I would sit in my downsized garden with a book in hand and a cat on my lap and I was happy.

At one point I made the mistake of buying a few miniature potted roses especially for porches and patios. It soon became obvious that the curse had followed me to the city. Whatever was required in ones genetic makeup to grow roses was missing in mine. I gave them to a friend who put them in her garden where I am happy to report they are doing very well.

So what is the moral of this story?

     "There is satisfaction in feeling our forehead smiling every day
       simply because we are trying."
                                                            2013 Winter Feast For The Soul

Out of our trying we find that while there are some things we can't do as well as others, the other side of that coin is that there are some things only we can do. It is in the trying that we discover our gifts. It was out of the dreams that were delivered to me in my mailbox that I discovered the beauty and enjoyment that greets me all spring and summer long out in my garden in the clouds. You just never know what you can do until you try, and out of our seeming failures come our greatest successes.

And so it is.