I cannot grow flowers. I can keep them from dying, but only just barely. My sister's miraculous touch with all things verdant is legendary in our family: I envy the peaceful charm and sense of life that emanates from her balcony, her living room, and the tree she once planted in the backyard of the house we grew up in. Her connection to the earth and its creatures extends to the animal kingdom, as demonstrated by that we once lost her on a walking tour of Cades Cove. When someone in the group finally spotted her, she was standing in the middle of a misty field surrounded by grazing deer, who nibbled around her like she was an expected guest. Everyone started snapping pictures, which frightened the deer, who ran away. She is pure of heart. This is what it takes to foster life in all its forms. (And she will see God.)
I do not mean to draw the parallel that I have an inferior spirit or an uglier soul than she, although I sometimes am convinced of it. It just means that fostering life, this time in my plants, does not come naturally to me. But I believe in it to the utmost extent of my being. I am trying to do better. Being in love with a kind, generous, funny, smart, loving man has helped, as has my newly-revived committment to spend more time with God's word. I will falter and be human, and not do my best on plenty of occasions. I will be awkward and probably say the wrong things but with the right intentions. And then maybe, after plenty of stumbles and errors, I just might start to look like this:
Nothing to Save
by D. H. Lawrence
There is nothing to save, now all is lost,
but a tiny core of stillness in the heart
like the eye of a violet.