A Green Heart


     I'm a murderer, but not of people. I just kill plants. I've killed a few that I was told could not be killed. Oh believe me, they died alright. I just don't have a green thumb. But I love plants and I refuse to give up, so I just keep killing them. I know it would be merciful to stop but I see yards filled with pink, red, yellow and white flowers and I get inspired. Too bad I don't get a little talent to go along with the inspiration. I buy 'em, bring 'em home, plant 'em, water 'em, fertilize 'em and kill 'em. It's a very tiring process.

      A few weeks ago Neal decided we needed a vegetable garden. It was at this point our good friends came over to help us cut up a garden spot and Peggy brought along flowers for me. Now her yard is a garden of delight every year. If you can't drive all the way to one of the gardens in Charleston, just stop by Peggy's house and you will think you've arrived. I was especially excited when I found out she was going to help me plant these flowers. They might actually have a fighting chance!

      Peggy came equipped with gloves and a shovel. I just pointed out where I wanted them and she started working. We took turns digging and when it was time to plant I told her that she should do it because I really wanted them to live. It was amazing to watch an artist at work. She knelt down and very thoroughly  broke up the soil with her fingers. She took the time to pick out all the weeds and roots and get the spot exactly like she wanted it before putting the plant in its new home. There was no rush. It wasn't something she did as if it was a job. It was a labor of love. She planted that forsythia like she was tending to a baby. It was amazing to watch.

       I went to get a bucket of water and when I came back I told her how excited I was because I just knew these plants would thrive since she planted them. She said she hoped they would and told me she had prayed for them while she was planting them. It was then that the revelation hit me. I've been wishing for a green thumb. What I really need is a green heart. 

        You see the truth of the matter is I love the 'idea' of having beautiful flowers but I don't really enjoy all the work that goes along with having beautiful flowers. I give them a little attention occasionally and point the water hose their way if they look like they are dying of thirst. But I don't invest the time and care it takes to watch them thrive. I want the end result without the dedication, commitment and hard work it takes to get there. When it comes down to it, I guess it's a lot like other things in life...marriage, church, a job, family: we have to be willing to put something in to get something out. 

    I learned a lot from Peggy that day as I watched her work. And I found out it takes more than a green thumb to make a garden grow. It takes a green heart. My friend Peggy has the greenest heart I know. Maybe it will rub off on me. So far, they are still alive! Thank you.


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