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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: The Tiny Forest
By Virginia Cowie


Marge was walking slowly on a walkway leading to the driveway when a neighbor noticed her. Susan was on her way to work but as usual, she has always found time to greet her neighbors. Marge who has been ill for almost a year managed to wave her hand but couldn’t hold her tears as Susan drove away. She wished she could go to work too.

Many hardships have come one after another as Marge battle with her illness. Doctors’ visits, medical tests, and raising a family were simply exhausting. And Oh, those piles of bills! Marge wished they could be frozen for a while, or at least until she could gather enough strength to work again. Her husband had recently lost his job and the situation for the family could not be any worse than what they already have.

“Heavenly Father,” Marge sighed in desperation. “Please help me face the current storm of life you have allowed to be on my path,” she whispered. “Humanly speaking, I can’t bear it anymore.” She pulled out a tissue from her blue jacket’s pocket and gently wiped her tears. It was summer but her illness constantly making her feel cold and uncomfortable.

As Marge’ emotions became intense, she began feeling weak and decided to sit on the bench on the front porch facing an overgrown garden. She had not pulled the weeds for quite some time and the unwanted garden nuisances had managed to compete with the resident plants’ nutrients that were mainly gifts from heaven. Thankfully, Ben, her husband had originally installed sprinklers on a screen-covered beams above the plants, and these had helped refreshed the greeneries from the unrelenting heat of the summer sun.

The maiden ferns were covering almost the whole ground of the ten by ten foot garden. A half a dozen containers of orchids joyfully grew deep green foliage and sprouted elegant yellow, purple, and white flowers. The bug-eating pitcher plant wasn’t that fortunate for there were not many bugs around that were lured by the sweet-smelling liquid inside the slippery pitcher at the tip of each leaf.

The tree fern was growing nicely and fully, spreading its foliage inside the hanging basket. Some of its roots were sticking out of the container looking as if reaching out to others. The Australian fern, which was in the middle of the garden appeared very content as it spreads out its wing-like branches toward the sky. A couple of crab spiders managed to build their webs, attaching the silky threads from one of the Australian fern’s branches to the main post of the open greenhouse. Marge called this garden, “My Little Amazon Forest,” and frequently come here whenever there was turmoil within her heart.

Marge stood up and slowly came close to where the spiders were. She had develop a new appreciation to the frequently shun creature. Gone were the days when she used to spray water on them with a hose until every tiny evidences of the web was never to be found. The aching heart that were crying a few minutes ago was now filled with peace and joy as she watched each spider rested calmly in the middle of each web. They looked content knowing that the God of Heaven and Earth will provide them with their next meal at the proper time. Marge smiled and whispered in the air, “Thank you my Heavenly Father for providing me with such an example of calmness and contentment through these simple beings. In your sight, my family and I are more valuable than these wonderful spiders.”

Calmly, Marge walked toward the door of her house, free of a heavy burden she had been carrying for a while. They were all transferred to the One who had given her SALVATION and supplying her and her family with daily provisions.

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This article has been read 483 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristen Hester09/22/07
Very nice story. I liked how Marge was able to find peace in her garden and through observing nature.

There are a few grammar issues in here, but they can be easily fixed. You have some very nice details and descriptions. Good writing.

Beth LaBuff 09/26/07
Your plant and vegetation descriptions are good...you have a thorough knowledge of your subject, so I'm assuming you are a plant lover. :) I like your spider illustration! It reminds me of the verse about spiders even being king's palaces (or something like that). Nice writing!
Joanne Sher 10/01/07
Congratulations, Virginia. Your entry has placed 15th in Level 1. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall are available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.