We had just finished landscaping our patio with ferns, palm trees, and monkey grasses. Our grill was set up and ready to go. We were wearing short sleeves, and capris – and then we moved back to our home-state; Kentucky. In December. When everything was brown. Asleep for the winter. Florida – green! Kentucky, brown! Florida – tropical. Kentucky – hibernated, shut down for the season. I could only dream about this yard ever becoming a back yard oasis.
Back Yard Oasis
Standing at the kitchen window I didn’t see potential. I saw nothing but starting over. Sore muscles, aching back, and exhaustion lay ahead if this yard would ever become a place of solace for my spirit. I saw a yard that had been abandoned for a long time. I repeatedly stood, looked, … and turned away.
And then came the spring time. Then came the rebirth of energy. The world outside my kitchen window yawned, stretched, and woke up from a long winter’s nap. I joined that energy, and dreamed a dream for my backyard. I began to see beyond what was, and saw what could be!
Oh how I enjoyed that oasis. It was a place to renew my energies, to swing, to relax and unwind from stressful stuff. I could go there to rest, listen to the birds, watch the plants dance with the wind, think deep thoughts – or not think at all. What a joy my backyard oasis had become.
And then Came the Winter – Again
With the arrival of winter, my yard once more went to sleep. She pulled her white blanket up and snuggled down for the season. My tropical, lush, green oasis would have to wait.
But God whispered His promise to my listening heart, “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night” (Genesis 8:22 NLT).
Spring Arrives – Time to Assess the Damage
Today as I walk around my newly-awakening oasis, I am hopeful that I’ll see evidence of new life. I am seeking the slightest hint of tiny green sprouts who may be adventuresome enough to poke their heads through the muddy earth, seeking their first glimpse of sunshine. I am dreaming of what this place will become for this new season in my own life. I am taking inventory of the yard when I suddenly realize that I am also doing a spiritual inventory. I have been dull in my heart, feeling far from the presence of God. I have felt alone, and distant from His welcoming arms.
The Yard Needs Work
There are branches down everywhere. Mulch has traveled outside the borders of the gardens, moles have dug trenches across the yard and created mud mounds. My normally graceful ornamental grasses have become a tangled mass of brokenness. There is raking to do. There is straw to remove from the new grass we sowed last fall. There are old dead tree roots that need to be dug out of the flower garden where they have become exposed.
The Oasis Has Been Unattended
As I begin to work my yard once more, I am thinking of the places in my life that need the same type of attention. I need to assess where I am, clean up old debris, dream new dreams of what can be, and then plant accordingly. Spring has arrived, buds are appearing, new life is sprouting. I am hopeful that my heart will also awaken with renewed joy and that as I rebuild my oasis, I’ll also rebuild my joy in the Lord, who gives me strength. I hope to begin each day with the verse,”this is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
I’m excited about the new beginnings – again.
Are you out working your garden? I’d love to see pictures of the progression. For those of us who enjoy gardening, there’s just something about watching things grow. Post some pictures and we’ll all enjoy them.