Monday, June 10, 2013

The Great Power of Hope

Sometimes life doesn't work out the way that we planned. I find it altogether too easy to become discouraged by that fact. But I wonder sometimes why I believe that I am so magnificent as to deserve that the world should work out exactly as I wish. I've been unwell for 10 months now, though, and sometimes I find myself despairing. Perhaps if I had been unwell to varying degrees for most of my life, this present trial would be easier to endure. But as it stands, I've never really been sick at all. I've never been sick until July 2012 when a wasp stung me on my right hand and set in motion a series of inexplicable health crises.

I am a firm believer that trials are introduced into our lives to teach us something, and so I try to remain open to the lessons of this particular trial. What I am beginning to understand more than anything else is the great restorative power of hope. I hope on a daily basis that I will come across someone who can discern the source of my persistent discomfort. I hope that I can return to the existence that I once knew. I am finding that answers are not so easy to come by, and so I occasionally succumb to thoughts of despair. But even on the edge of that, there is always hope.

And so it is that I turn to my garden for more life lessons. Each time I press a seed into the earth, it is an act of hope. It is not an act of faith, to be sure. Faith is believing that something specific will happen. Hope is knowing that something specific can happen, even while understanding that circumstances might intervene to change the possibilities. When I press a seed into the ground, I hope that it will reach its potential. Sometimes I am rewarded. Sometimes I am not.

A few weeks ago, I sang the praises of the magical fruit, the bean. I planted a shocking amount of beans, in the hopes of having a glut of them to eat and to freeze. Things haven't quite worked out that way, but I still find reason to hope.

The beans bearing the name of 'Lazy Housewife' were advertised as being ones that didn't require much attention, the kind of beans that even a lazy housewife could grow. Well, I consider myself neither lazy nor a housewife, but it's the beans themselves that are the lazy ones, if you ask me.

Yep, they're lazy, alright.

Next are the 'Christmas' Lima Beans. Last year, they seemed to be Olympic wrestlers, tackling the wigwam supports I had built for them and bringing them to the ground. But they produced lima beans. They produced a lot of them. This year, I've given them a different kind of support, and they're proving to be as strong as they were last year.

We could, in fact, have a bean Christmas in July
My Purple Podded Pole beans have become a puzzle to me. They germinated beautifully, seemed to be putting on reasonable growth, and then most of them just quit. They shriveled and died within a matter of two days. So I planted more seeds. And they germinated beautifully, seemed to be putting on reasonable get where I'm going. I have to admit that I sort of gave up on them. But here's where they stand today. They may just surprise me in the end.

Modest growth from the Purple Podded Pole beans
I had given up on the Sunset Runner Beans, as well. But, while they are not living up to their "runner" status, they are showing plenty of hopeful signs in the form of flowers, which are the precursors to beans.

There's beans on them there plants!
I had hoped to be propelled around the house, but it seems I might be simply propelled around the kitchen. The beans haven't quite reached their potential, but in other areas of the garden, I find not only reasons for hope but for rejoicing. When I lost my precious Wolfie, I can assure you that I felt deep despair. Cavernous, dark, deep, overwhelming despair. Spurred on by friends and family and little Miss Tippy, who was certainly despairing the loss of her brother, too, I went into the garden. My blog readers suggested ways of remembering him. One, in particular, suggested I plant something strikingly different, something that stood out from everything else. And so I planted a Gloriosa rothschildiana, a tuber that looked much like a sweet potato. And I waited. In a few weeks, it started putting on furious green growth. This weekend, it also put on a show.

Friday morning
Friday afternoon
Saturday morning
Saturday afternoon
Sunday morning
That, dear readers, is hope rewarded. I planted a tuber in the midst of my deep despair, and my hope for something brighter was repaid with this magnificent flower. It isn't terribly different from what Wolfie always was for me. He was persistent hope. I think this will carry me through troubles for quite a while.

For those of you who subscribe to updates, you may find yourselves with a fuller inbox within a week. You see, I'm headed to England with my mom and my sister-in-law. So the next post you'll see from me will be from there. I'll be posting more frequently, but most posts will be next door, on Traveling Lightly, my travel blog. Happy and hopeful gardening until then.

1 comment:

  1. Glorious! That flower seems to epitomize hope.
    As usual, love the purple ;-)