(cross-posted to Detritus, as well)
Plato, 2009, now lives with my brother
A friend suggested I write more on the weed analogy from my last (Detritus) post, so in my own round-about way I will. If you've spent any time on my blogs (of which there were actually about 13 that I write on at last count, some obviously as me, some hidden and you can't make me tell you!), you know I love my children, am rather fond of my husband, adore cats, and am big into gardening. If you're facebook friends (or real-world friends) with me, you know I'm absolutely over the top on books (and bookcases to house them).
You might, though, have missed that if it grows, I tend to let it be, whether it's a weed or not. In fact, many of my flowers are weeds that I've left be, deadheaded and allowed to spread. You might also have missed that the accidental cosmos, or as I lovingly refer to it, god, sends me a stray (or two or three) each year, who wanders up to my deck and insists on coming inside.
A year ago, Plato wandered up, and Rick, as he always does, refused entry (he always caves, though). I was finally able to convince my brother, later last spring to take Plato into his home, and they are both fat and happy over there.
Sometimes, god has a really delightful sense of humor and likes to test me to see just what I will adopt into the home. A couple years ago, that was a chicken.
Sometimes, god really goes ALL out:
That so wasn't happening.
We also have a skunk living under the shed that we haven't quite gotten around to dealing with, bunnies galore, and garden cats who just aren't interested in coming in.
In the nearly 8 years we've had here, we've taken in four cats and passed one along to my brother, sent the chicken to live with a friend, and accepted that our garden is a safe haven for critters we weren't planning on accommodating, like big fat, bold mice who stay near me while I garden and act as if I'm intruding on their space. (The cats are on the right side of the page: Mabel, Lucy, Frankie, and Aphrodite.)
And we've let the "weeds" grow and bloom and spread. We've also planted and intended some of the things, and there is no doubt that intended, tended things can be beautiful like these roses.
But it is those things, and those people, who spring unbidden into our lives with the power to truly take our breath away with their magnificence.
Sunflowers, that over the last seven summers, have gone from only in the back corner of the garden (unplanted, unintended, nature-given gifts) to spread throughout the garden over the years.
Some of the best things that happen to us were things we weren't planning on. Some of the best people in our lives we never imagined knowing.
While I believe that most things happen by chance and that there is no inherent meaning in life, I take great comfort in creating that meaning, in finding it. My children, all truly unintended, each with their unique gifts and challenges may be others' ideas of weeds, but they are glorious. They are gifts to me. My friends, many of whom have disabilities, all of whom have faced tremendous challenges and often suffered rejections and abuse, are glorious and are welcome partners on this journey.
May your light, your radiance, shine for all the world to see and appreciate.
For Debbie, who thought I should, one last garden picture:
(and for Mark, this would be one of those things I write when not in the trenches)