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  • Mary Jane Ferriman

Twigs in the ground.

Have you ever noticed how weeding beside the shed can be precarious? With thorns and thistles and bugs and bites; it can be a maelstrom of trouble.

Pinecones, did I mention those nuisance pinecones? There MUST be use beyond seed for these abundant, sticky, and seemingly useless little …irritants. And because I do not understand their place in my universe I decide to hoop-shot them into the biodegradable bin with the occasional success! It is a gummy mess.

Endurance of sun, sweat, swat, swarm, and dirt have netted a bit of territory to the east side, and it is starting to feel pretty good. And then I spy it. A long tendril of green poking out right in front of my face; audacious! So, I pull on it. And then I pulled on it some more, and then I pulled on it hard with inexplicable force and …snap!

In my hand I found myself holding this long tail of a plant, and I liked it! It was variegated and in its own way very lovely. Certainly, this little twig was tough enough. It was also pretty enough as well. It caught my eye with its form, variance, and balance. It seemed at that moment I had found myself a wee treasure! And what does one do with, a wee treasure?

It was very unsanctimonious but with great heart and hope, I stuck that little wisp of life back into the ground. I did not prepare the soil. I did not fertilize or aerate or moisten the drop zone. I did just push it in the dirt, and over the next few weeks…it grew.

As I watched it grow, I mused…Is this not reflective of all life? With little prep, little hope, little will, and little want we can just get ‘plopped’ into place and it would not be an unreasonable expectation that life will grow us. And I believe that it usually does. Mind you, some do get plopped in more fertile ground, and with the expected ‘cultivation’ that can truly be an asset in enhancing the end process. Sometimes, nature fools us all and creates beauty in the most unlikely of places.

I am of the observation that the kite does rise against the wind. I do understand that muscle is strengthened by resistance. I have observed that sometimes with humans as with plants, the lack of cultivation can actually lead to increased character, tenacity, dedication, and determination. Perhaps when the soil of life is ill-tilled there can be a better opportunity for a new and curiously unique contribution that is unexpected in strength, beauty, and impact. Just like my twig.

My ‘twig’ is doing fine now. He is branched out with some vast tendrils that look lovely. There are now two offspring that are making their statement in the competition between the ‘Hardy Hosta’s’ of the garden!

So - you keep on branching out too! No matter the preparation or lack thereof in your beginnings and middles…. or in your ends; with perseverance and tenacity and a little self-cultivation you too can beat the odds and like my little Hosta, end up doing just fine. Look hard through the weeds and you will often find that something beautiful has come, grown, and bloomed beyond all expectation and perhaps … with even a little trepidation. You will flourish in your own garden where my hope and prayers are that you will flourish, expand, create, and contribute, just like my little twig. Sometimes we blossom in a garden, not of design but default. Not in a garden of glamour and glitz yet nonetheless in a garden of belonging and beauty. And do remember that you will surprise, you will bless, you will belong. Hang in there, and keep on growing!

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