Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Life Lessons From The Garden: What Flowers Can Teach Us About Love

Of all the lessons I have learned from gardening over the years, I think the one that has had the most profound affect on me is what the flowers have taught me about unconditional love.

A flower starts off as a seed just like almost every other species on the planet. Right away it must struggle to grow in two different directions: downward to establish roots to stand on and absorb nourishment from its environment, and upward as it works to push itself through the soil up into the sunshine. From there it continues to grow through rain, wind and sun, and all of it just so it can fulfill its purpose: to give of itself unconditionally. It gives sustenance to the insects and birds who depend on it, and it gives beauty both visually and through the senses to humanity. Its whole existence has nothing to do with whether it is more beautiful than the flower next to it, whether it gets more water and plant food than the others, or the gardener likes it better than the next flowerbed over. In fact, the gardener may find it so beautiful and pleasing that it just might have to give up its life in the garden to become a cut flower in a vase on a sunny table, thus watching its own life fade away as the sun goes down.

A flower has to be what it is and serve the purpose for which it was put here ... to grow, to give, to be who it is. It doesn't wish it were a tree or a cow, nor does it wish to live in warmer climates or closer to the beach. It just lives its life being who it is and doing what it is meant to do which is to give pleasure. If that isn't what love is all about, I don't know what it.

And so it is.