Taking Off My Shoes

For as long as i’ve had facebook probably in my list of favorite quotes I have included the following:
Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes – The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries. – Elizabeth Barrett Brownbing

I’m not sure when or where I stumbled upon it, but ever since I read it i’ve dwelled on those words when I work in the garden and I truly take them to heart. I recently read an article saying that 90% of horticulturist/florists in the UK like their job…unlike most other people in their jobs. Now I don’t know what that is based on, or if any of them are Christians, but for me, the joy I find in horticulture is mostly because the outdoors in my mind is holy ground. How could i not find joy working daily in the presence of the Lord? I know not everyone views the outdoors that way…or dirt! Some days I get wrapped up in the gross bugs and hard work and annoying heat and forget that fact myself, but a reminder is never too far around the corner: this earth is magnificent! My most treasured times in the garden I used to work at were the twilight morning hours, the ones where the sun was just over the horizon and the children were still in their bed sleeping, dreaming of all the fun they would have crushing my plants (ha). As I watered, or pruned, raked, weeded, or assessed a planting for redesign, I breathed deep the magic of the hour, and periodically shallowed my breathes to be able to hear the low hum of the honey bee wings beating all around me, and the cardinal chirping in the Taxodium, and the breeze whispering through the Miscanthus grass flower heads. I would stare at the dew drops on the fading giant Zinnias and wish my crappy camera could capture it’s beauty, but not even try to snap a shot because I knew it just couldn’t. In these moments my heavenly Father wrapped his arms around me and hugged me with peace, with wonder, with awe.

IMG_2543 some of those giant zinnias

I remember hiking the Daniel Boone National Forest with my husband a couple years ago, coming around every corner to a new rock formation or beautiful stream, and getting so excited seeing wild plants that I forget were here before we cultivated them, bred them and gave them all sorts of crazy cultivar names and trademarks. I remember yelling, THAT is WILD HEUCHERA! Tiny green leaves with their little flowers on stalks sticking out from a large crack in the rock made me stop in my tracks.

IMG_6598 IMG_6593

That is not just a plant…I want to take my shoes off, I want to sit here and worship the creator of these beautiful tiny thing that I see in every other yard but that was once plucked from a rock like this and cloned a million times before it got to that point. I want to stare at the veins and count the petals and stamen of the flower, I want to know it’s full scientific name, I want to know why God put it here. Wonder. Nature, plants, they instill in me fascination. For all of this I am thankful, and as woman named Ann Voskamp, author of “One Thousand Gifts” reminds me, thanksgiving–”giving thanks in everything–is what prepares the way for salvations full restoration.” Thanksgiving begets Joy.
This theme of thankfulness will continue into my upcoming blogs as I continue to write the story of my life.

 

enjoy some pretty pictures taken either by myself or “patient husband”  from places I’ve had the privilege to work:

 

IMG_0626 IMG_3237 IMG_3324 IMG_6304 IMG_6725 IMG_6781 IMG_7378 IMG_7427 IMG_7476

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One comment on “Taking Off My Shoes

  1. Cori Beining on said:

    Amen Lady :)

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