They ask me for tulips.

Large brown eager eyes await my answer.

How can I say no?

The day is not so cold, and this may be our last chance to plant.

“Which colors?” I ask.

“Red,” says one.

“Pink,” says another, “and yellow”.

“I don’t know,” says another one who doesn’t really give me an answer.

“What about daffodils? I like daffodils, too,” I suggest.

I receive a nodding of heads in reply.

I drive to the store to buy spring-flowering bulbs, and select a few from among what is left, at 25% off. Most folks around here have finished their fall bulb planting, I realize. I’m OK with that.

I come home with purple and yellow crocuses, purple hyacinths, red, yellow, and pink tulips, and daffodils. We plant about 100 bulbs on Sunday afternoon, and I still have another 60 more left for Monday morning. The digging and planting proceeds fairly quickly with six other hands helping me.

After a while, the kids take a break, and I am alone, kneeling in the dirt, still  digging holes in dark, moist soil. I stop for a moment on the cloudy, breezy, afternoon and stare at the bulbs resting in the hollowed places.

We plant these bulbs because we desire the delight of the color, the beauty, the touch of loveliness to feast our eyes upon after the long winter. We bury the bulbs under dirt, and hope we’ve done it right, and hope we’ve planted them deep enough, but we’ll have to wait until April or May to know whether we’ll see what we’re hoping for.

I’m glad the kids asked for this. I’m happy I can oblige. I’m privileged I can say “yes”  to this request.

I look down on the row of bulbs and marvel over the strangeness of planting garlic-shaped objects that will emerge into something completely different, and I can’t help but wonder what the Flower Maker has in mind for me. What sorts of treasures will emerge and flower after seasons of winter in my life? I am sure I can’t imagine. Even if I think I have any inkling of a notion, I could be totally wrong. Does a planted bulb know what it will be?

The Flower Maker has planted seeds of hope in me… and my life itself is like an ever-growing planted seed. I want to see some of the results now, but I simply can’t. Some things can’t be known yet.

We can only fully grow when we’ve died, and let God grow us.

Likewise, we’ll know more fully in Heaven, as our lives here are but a shadow of the real life we’re meant to live.

I must wait until spring to know what will emerge. Hope lives amidst the burying.


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