I have a beautiful yard.
I don’t feel bad bragging about it because I don’t deserve credit for any of it. My husband takes care of all our plants. A lot of work goes into the planning, the planting, the pruning, and everything else that has to happen to make it look the way it does, but he enjoys doing it and is happy to let me reap the benefits of it all. I occasionally help him, but it’s under his guidance. He clearly knows more about plants than I do, so I happily yield to him. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t take long for me to ruin our yard if I started taking care of it without his help.
Right now our yard doesn’t look so great. I know the potential is still there because I have enjoyed it so many times, but this is the time of year when all I see is a dry brownness that isn’t exactly beautiful. The blue, pink, and purple hydrangeas are gone, leaving behind brown sticks. Our flowering cherry tree isn’t full of blooms anymore. My garden that my husband created as a gift to me, usually full of all kinds of purple flowers, doesn’t have a single bloom. The butterfly bush that is full of hummingbirds and butterflies for months on end couldn’t attract anything right now; it’s just not that pretty. All the roses are gone too. I could go on and on.
My yard is in a season which won’t last forever, but I also know I’m not guaranteed to ever see the exact beauty I was blessed with in the past. Every year our yard looks just a little bit different. It’s always beautiful, but it’s never the same.
In my life, I have seasons too. I have had some amazing ones. Again, I’m not bragging on myself because, like our yard, I’m not responsible. God is my gardener. He knows a lot more than I do, and I have much prettier seasons when I yield to him.
Just like my yard, I don’t exactly know what my next season is going to look like, but I do know the One in charge. My job is to yield to Him.
Once in a while, even in the brownness of winter, I find a splash of beauty in my yard. Right now there are red berries which are quite lovely tucked here and there. In fact, they seem to be more beautiful now that I’m seeing them against a brown backdrop.
I can’t help but think about the beauty I’ve seen this past year. It’s been a rough season, but there have been bright spots, and they stand out to me in such a sweet way.
I have to look around my yard carefully right now to find anything lovely, anything worth looking at. If I just glance at it, the ugly brown that covers almost every plant is quite depressing. I have to remind myself of the next season. I have to spend time searching out the beauty.
That has been true for this season of my life too.
I don’t think I’ve ever noticed the beauty of the red berries before, but there’s something about the brownness that makes the red stand out all the more.
The memories I have made this year are ones I’ll never forget. I’m so glad, in the middle of all that was 2020, I was able to see the beauty that was there all along.
Like most of us, I want the beauty of spring again, just like I want 2021 to feel less like 2020.
As I look at my yard right now, I have to close my eyes and use my imagination to see the brown sticks disappear only to be replaced with the lovely colors that are the hallmark of our yard every year. But I know it’s coming and that gives me such a feeling of hope.
Spring is on the horizon; hope is too.
[a version of this post previously published on sandybrannan.com]
North Carolina author Sandy Brannan teaches English when she’s not spending time with her grandchildren. She loves reading, writing, and making memories with her family. Sandy, a contributing writer at Her View From Home, has four novels currently available on Amazon amazon.com/author/sandybrannan. You can read the rest of her work on her blog sandybrannan.com as well as on social media at facebook.com/sandybrannanauthor/ and at instagram.com/sandybrannanauthor/ .