Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Life found where we least expect it

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Nature won’t give up

on what it breathes life into;

but comes back, stronger

___________

One and a half years after the disastrous flood of September 2013 in our town in northern Colorado we have amazing sights that surprise us like this old cracked tree stump that was surrounded by destroyed trees and washed out trails, roads and demolished buildings. But, last summer while on the walking trail we spotted this old tree stump cut down where others had been trimmed or uprooted from the flood, many that literally floated down the raging river during the flood. Thinking the tender green shoots were growing up from the ground near it, I decided to get a closer look at it and found that they were actually growing from out of the cracks or crevices in the stump. I was glad I had my camera along.

I was immediately reminded of a favorite scripture in Job 14: 7 of the Old Testament that says, “At least there is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.” (NIV) And I thought about how often I had given up on dreams or things in my life because I felt as if they were ‘dead in the water’, like the trees that washed away in the flood, or having been cut down of ever producing any life or fruit again. But, God’s word is true. It is the same promise for today as it was in the days of Job, and there is the faith and hope that new life, new growth can begin again and we will bear new fruit.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Daring to be different

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A single pink rose bloom on my white rose-bush

Daring, different

From all the rest this pink rose

Shyly opens up

~~~~~~~

I have several rose bushes in my back yard of different colors; red, pink, and white. The single pink bloom here is the only one among the white or ivory colored blooms on this bush and seemed remarkable as we watched it develop and bloom.

It reminds me of the ways in which I felt different growing up. My friends had blue eyes, blond hair, had common names like Kathy or Linda, and were considered ‘cool’ and ‘popular’. I had brown hair, brown eyes, a less common name, was quiet and more the introvert. They had bicycles of their own. Mine belonged to my sister. They all made A’s and B’s in school. I barely passed on C’s. Their fathers had good paying careers and jobs. My father was a church pastor barely able to provide for a family of two parents with four kids. Did I resent that? No. My life was just different from everyone else’s. Sometimes I thought it unfair, and grumbled; until I realized it was I who needed an adjustment, and an attitude of gratitude with a thankful heart.

About the blue-eyed, blond-haired girls; back then, I wanted to be like them; until I learned that brown hair and brown eyes could be romantic and mysterious; all in the brown eyes of the one beholding such beauty.

The bicycle that wasn’t mine? I rode it everywhere throughout my childhood until the day I could afford to buy my own.

My low grades? Well, I learned that what I lacked in confidence and ability in some things I could achieve and excel in others. So, I worked at those things I could do well in; writing, music and art.

And my father who was a church pastor; well, he worked long days and sometimes nights ministering to people with love, humility, grace, compassion, forgiveness and a thankful heart. His lessons on life he taught his children, as well as those in his congregation.

What I learned? It isn’t how much we have, or what we’re born with that is important, but what we do with what we’ve learned; believing in ourselves and knowing it’s OK to be different, blooming where we are planted.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

‘Parable’ of the honey bee


Parable of the honey bee

 

Clinging to life it holds on, but failing, its wings heavy from the pollen it carries it offers up;

Others hover near gathering their own and wait respectfully, knowing its fate.

When it’s time the bee succumbs, and others carry on producing what they know to do.

The life of the bee is short; their purpose vital, crucial to the environment.

It is nature’s way, a part of God’s perfect plan.

Like the common bee we live our lives too, within a span of time.

We gather what is important to us. But, it is what we offer up that is the essence

of God’s spirit in us, as a sweet nectar, and aroma that permeates the land.

________________________

Scripture reference – 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV translation)

Footnotes:  The above photo is one I took in my back yard garden while watching this bee as it died. I have a good friend who has a bee hive operation as a hobby and watched him at work with his bees. I became very interested in the things I learned about bees, more so than in the past when careful to stand away from them and not be stung. The recent experience while watching and studying bees inspired me to write this ‘parable’, a short devotion about the things we have in common with a mere honey bee, and whether we seek for ourselves those things most important to us, or whether we ‘offer up’ and give back what matters most; our relationship to God, to others, and to our world in general. I love reading the stories and parables in Matthew that Jesus taught his disciples and thought the bee story made a good illustration to use. Comments on this story are welcome, as always with my stories, posts and poems.

Joyce E. Johnson © 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nurturing what we plant

Like seeds planted and

nurtured, our fruit is known by

that which feeds our soul.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson  (2014)

April rains and spring flowers (Day 15 of NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month)


April brings showers

The fresh scent of falling rain

And new spring flowers

___________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Spring; my favorite season

Below is my poetry submission for the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge of writing and posting a poem a day. If time allows I will to try to keep up, and post one a day.  Here is this one for the day. A Haiku poem.

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Blue skies and green grass

flowers in bloom, birds singing

Spring; finally here

__________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Succulent Flower


Succulent flower

The bee hovers in mid-air

Gathering pollen

____________

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

Photo credit: Thomas Wayne Johnson (2013)

Note: The bush this flower grows on is covered in these beautiful flowers in mid-summer.  I wanted a photo with a close up  of a honey bee for the haiku poem, and for my ‘writings’ scrapbook with another of my bee poems, recently published, so sent my husband Wayne out to get a shot of it with his camera, and he was able to get a good close up of one here. It was perfect.  🙂

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