Gratitude for Blessings Not Yet Seen
I spent quite a bit of time on my garden rearranging project this past weekend. There’s still a lot left to do, but I did manage to move the berry bed to the north side of the garden, digging up and moving some of the blackberry, boysenberry and Fall Gold raspberry canes. The rest of the canes were planted in a large black tub to winter over. In the early spring, when it’s time to plant I’ll repot them for my front porch farmer’s market or the sale my garden club has each year.
The fruit trees were pruned and given 2 pounds each of gypsum. I spread it around the canopy line and gently scratched it into the soil. Sunday’s steady rain storm will push the nutrients down to the roots to feed them all through the winter.
Our big storm slated to arrive on Saturday evening finally blew in on Sunday and should last for several days. I raked leaves and dug them into the new raised vegetable beds, a foundation of organic matter. Some were piled over the perennial bulbs for protection.
By Saturday afternoon, the only task left to do was to dig up and separate my collection of Iris bulbs. Admittedly this is coming late in the season, but in Southern California Irises can be planted or divided any time of year with great success. Last months hot east winds had battered the Iris foliage, turning it dry and brown; very unsightly.
Like most of the garden this year my Irises had a rough time of it. I got only a few blooms off a dozen or so beautiful looking plants and none from my newest additions. I was concerned that without flowers the rhizomes under the ground were in poor condition; digging them up to separate right before a major storm did not seem the wisest course of action. When I finally got over my concern, I cut back the foliage, and sank my spade deep into the soil. I was surprised to find plump, strong clumps of vibrant rhizomes, bigger than I had imagined they would be. I’m not plant expert, folks, so all I can surmise is that our cooler spring and summer were not conducive to good flowering, and in the less than favorable conditions the plants decided to store their energy for next season’s bloom.
I got to thinking, down there on my hands and knees, digging in the soil; thinking of disaster, only to find strength. For some 2011 has been a prosperous year, but for many more, me included, this past year has been marked by uncertainty and difficulty. Month after month we hear about businesses closing, home foreclosures and farmers leaving their land because they can not longer afford to carry on. Millions more carry silent burdens of this lingering recession, and the weight of the stress is down right painful. Yet here we are, just a few days before Thanksgiving, a time when we are called on to count our blessings and be grateful for what we have.
What those Irises made me sit back and think about was…when life seems to be at its most challenging, when our continued efforts seem to constantly fall short, something good can be happening just beneath the surface; silent, patient, biding its time before revealing itself. That thing, folks, is hope. In times such as these, like the Great Depression and other recessions before, hope is a blessing that deserves to be counted. Hope that we will make it through. Hope that the future will find us in a better place. Hope that we haven’t seen the last of good things in our lives. Like the old Native American saying goes “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.”
So, before we get caught up in the frenzy of stuffing turkeys and baking pies lets all remember that we have something to be grateful for, for blessings already seen and for those yet to be unveiled; for the hope that what we need lay just beneath the surface.
I for one will walk a little lighter, smile a little brighter and hug a little long this Thanksgiving week because blessings have already been revealed. And, I have faith, and hope, that many more lay just beneath.
With gratitude and hope, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.