Mosquitos, sultry heat, and back-to-school transitions diverted me from paying much attention to my garden in August. It got pretty scraggly and pathetic. (Is there a garden equivalent of covid hair?? This is probably it!)
Last week I reacquainted myself with this little garden patch, deadheading faded blossoms, weeding, and pulling out stuff that had withered away.
Despite my gardening ambivalence, this little "volunteer" tomato plant took advantage of its pioneer status in the marigold container to shoot up high enough to produce fruit.
Its stature is tiny in comparison to the tomato plant I nurtured from a seedling into a full-grown plant, which produced plentiful cherry tomatoes throughout early summer.
This little guy didn't have a shot of growing any bigger because it didn't have space to grow.
But - - - it did the best it could in the conditions in which it landed.
My other "volunteer" this year is a huge marigold that took advantage of the deeper container it shared with a blackberry bush which dwindled after its productive peak, giving the marigold more room to grow.
I didn't even know marigolds could grow this big!
I'm not particularly enamored by marigolds, but I plant them because I know they're hardy throughout the late summer when my gardening mojo is gone. They also remind me of my Grandma who always planted marigolds in a perimeter hedge around her garden, claiming that they kept the bunnies out because of their pungent scent. (Their harsh aroma certainly kept this girl from picking them and swooping them into a colorful bouquet when I visited her.)
This tenacious marigold thrived because it had space to grow. It capitalized on available resources, leaning out awkwardly from its container as it stretched away from the spiky blackberry stalks.
Both of these plants landed in unexpected places.
Neither was planted with a plan.
Yet... they both grew because they persevered and had the freedom to make the most of their surroundings.
2020 has a lot of us landing in an unexpected place.
Awkward social distancing has given each of us mandated space.
Does this give us more space to grow??
None of us had a pandemic in our plans for this year. It's been an extreme hardship for some and a series of ongoing annoyances for others. Yet we're all impacted by this communal virus.
We feel displaced from our familiar routines and usual plans. Yet we're having opportunities for growth like never before.
Our children are watching how we adapt to these less than ideal conditions. Our communities are relying on us to "step up" in different ways to support one another.
We may be weary and avoiding some things that need pruning in our lives, yet we all have the potential to bear fruit in these unexpected circumstances.
We can ALL blossom when given space to grow.
How is the Lord growing you during this season?