In Defense of Puttering
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Last spring I was working in an office. Oh, I knew it was spring but not experientially for the most part. The only part of it I actually remember is sitting on my back porch swing with a cool drink after work, enjoying the greenery and flowers while my husband barbequed. Not that that's bad, mind you. It's just only a tiny fraction of the way I've experienced spring in the years I've been home enough to enjoy it. The thing that strikes me so is how noticeable that was in my yard.
I am blessed enough to have an absolutely stunning 2 acre, gently rolling, what some might call estate, that surrounds my home. In fact the property is largely why we bought the old home which hadn't been lived in for years and was in sore need of major repair. We did love the character of the home with it's dormers in the front upstairs bedrooms and I fell in love with a crazy added on area connected to one of the back bedrooms that had been part of the upstairs porch and was flooded with sunlight. It definitely had potential. But what was so absolutely irresistible was the property, with its stone wall flower gardens, abundance of glorious stargazers, lilies, hyacinths and daffodils en masse, not to mention the climbing fiery red roses running along and blooming all over a dilapidated white picket fence, mostly kept standing by ivy.
When we bought the place, my husband dove ambitiously into taming it, while carefully maintaining its innate character and beauty. He is the energetic, high powered "let's cut those trees down" one in the family and my contribution is more the "putterer" wandering about pulling weeds, planting flowers, and watering. Anything that would actually require one to "sweat" (and we live in the south!) has always been his job. He's the planter, trimmer, rock moving, pond digger. He's also the one with the creative vision and energy. If he had unlimited financial resources this place would stop what little traffic we have on our gravel road. This property truly is as strikingly beautiful as it is today because of him.
This year I am no longer held hostage in an office where the precious sunlight cannot find me. As in years gone by, I find myself seizing every moment I can to be out enjoying the spring sunshine without the summer heat and humidity, and shamelessly puttering. Amazingly, I actually see the difference in the overall effect due to the attention to detail. I am astonished at how so little actually matters in noticeable ways. When no one waters often enough, when no passerby pulls up the weeds as they pass the bed, when no one takes a clipping off the hydrangea and starts a new shoot in the perfect place, it is missed.
Everyone knows that gardening is filled with Christian principles, reaping and sowing, one plants another waters... Well here's another one that I just love. The little things we do matter, they count. Those out there doing all the big things making differences in huge ways are vastly important, and sometimes we get to do that. But for most of us, life is filled with tending to the details, the individual things that in and of themselves don't seem all that important. But they are the impact on flowers that thrive gloriously verses those that just stay alive. They are what cause the color of the gladiolas and irises to shoot up out of the earth in vividness not diminished by a bed of weeds at their feet. They make the difference in the people in our lives feeling cared for and nurtured and tended, and the results are the way they bloom in our lives in a glorious display that is quite visible.
The gardens of our lives suffer when no one is tending to the weeding and watering and tiny details, so do the people in them. The attention to the small things really does matter. Whether its your job to be an earthmoving tree planter, or whether you get to stand with a hose and watch the butterflies dance around you as you water, what you do matters. Every little thing.
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