for a number of years since moving to north iowa, i have done a fair amount of landscaping. it started during the summers when my client load would typically slow down. after we moved to the area, our realtor, jane, saw some things we had done to our place in town, liked the change, and asked if i would help her with some landscape at her home. i did. and that became a sort of ongoing project for several years, working in the empty lot that she owned beside her house. i learned a great deal there and had a great time updating the plantings around her house and transforming the empty lot connected to it. during that time my neighbor and i went through the master gardener’s program through the iowa state extension as well.
i still do some design work and like to chat with people about pushing their yards to somewhat more of an edenic state. there’s just something about it that i really like. something about it brings part of me more alive. seeing things that could be before they are. possibilities waiting to be realities.
so this past week i visited the nursery and brought home a load of plants and shrubs. set the containers on my driveway for a while before delivering them to project sites. here was all this horticultural beauty sitting there in growing containers. just waiting for a more permanent place to grow. to be transplanted. waiting for change. waiting for a place where the possibilities for growth are greater than in a small plastic container.
i’ve found over the years that some plants are more able to tolerate living in small containers for extended periods of time. others quickly become root bound and are prone to become weak and/or susceptible to various unhealthy conditions or diseases.
sometimes while i’m landscaping, i find myself thinking more about how such transplanting and growth concepts play into my life. how i can be all too easily contented with keeping my life in a small container, so to speak. where it’s safe and manageable. with safety, with manageability, after all, comes limitation. i want to be more open to situations where the possibilities for growth are greater than the routines or ruts that life can so easily fall into.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” -Ephesians 3:16-