I knew I’d be doing a lot of gardening when we moved into our home.
The previous homeowner took the time to update the house’s interior paint colors, kitchen appliances, and counter tops. But the exterior plants and flowers and trees were allowed to have their way with our little yard, along with a whole lot of stinging nettles and weeds. Almost every plant in our backyard was growing alongside or intertwined with some sort of weed. And the rest looked a little like me after a particularly long day of motherhood: wilted, withered, and in need of a drink.
My plan was to dig them all up. Start from scratch. The yard was an overgrown mess of dead plants, dying plants, and weeds that I had been watering for a few days thinking they were plants. I wanted the mess gone and the soil free from any memory of it.
I laid out my gardening gloves in the garage right next to my car so that I’d remember, whenever I loaded Livy into her car seat for our weekly grocery run, that I had some gardening to do when we got back.
But my gardening ambition forgot to account for my mom-life exhaustion, and before I knew it, an entire month had flown by–my gardening gloves still resting right next to my car in the garage.
Livy and I decided to spend one of our afternoons out in the yard, and while she carefully inspected every leaf that fell from our tree, I carefully inspected the mess of our garden, wondering where I should start.
But the deeper I got into the weeds, the easier it was to recognize the surprising array of buds that had started to bloom on a plant I was convinced had been dead. Once I found one bud, it was so easy to find another, and soon I began to recognize small bursts of white and pink speckled throughout an entire area of our yard I thought had been lost.
All this to say, we have mums! They bloomed a few days ago while we were away in Denver, and I love spending time in our backyard, admiring their colors.
Maybe there’s another message in this tiny story too: one about the importance of patience, the need for acceptance, and, most importantly, the beauty that can bloom in the midst of a mess.
We have mums. Full, rich, magenta and white mums growing in the middle of the weeds.
Maybe, if you look close enough, you do too.