Let it Be… (My Garden in August)
Amid my August garden lie remains of glory past —
wilting greens, forgotten blooms, thick weeds grown wild and vast.
The ordered rows and blossoms fair have journeyed past their prime.
I’ve ceased to battle nature’s will, resigned to fate and time.
And as I wander paths untamed, I shake my head, ashamed
at giving up and giving in — myself the only blame.
For only in full mastery do I feel still and free.
Perfection is my lifeblood in my gardens and in me.
But, there! A flash of color draws my eye and so I hie
to see what finds a visit here worth merit and to why.
And, as I peer from round the bend with curiosity,
I find the source. Oh, such delight! A golden fantasy —
Tall coneflowers, once proud and straight, sport blackened heads of seed,
but, perched atop, bright yellow birds have settled there to feed.
Another motion, over there! Oh, quick, what could it be?
My Rose-of-Sharon, giving life to hosts of bumblebees.
The little pond with duckweed moves but naught on August days
and yet I notice peeping frogs have chosen there to play.
Hydrangeas, pink, white, and blue hang low now every morn,
but, underneath hide creatures who seek shelter from the storms.
Oh there, again! The milkweed plant holds secrets yet to be.
The butterfly so fresh and new, once captive, now is free.
The bindweed that I battle shades the arbor by the door
and the spider web suspended there is art in purest form.
Breezes bid me follow, seeking more most eagerly
as I marvel at the wonders that my eyes could nary see.
And, then it hits my heartstrings and I pause with senses bare,
that in my quest to make it mine, I’ve lived life unaware.
While pondering this ponderance and what it all could mean,
I thought about my garden and what had been unseen.
In turning from late Summer’s gifts with eyes and heart closed fast,
I’d given up on finding hope — the season having passed.
How like a life, it seems to me, these garden lessons tell
of holding tight, expected fruits, and vining trials dwell.
If I had kept my garden mine instead of letting go,
I never would have known the joys, nor had the chance to know…
Of butterflies and finches gold, of mice and berries red,
of mossy stones, creeping thyme, and drooping sunflower heads.
These things exist, at least in part, because I lost my way.
The garden I envisioned paled as life led me astray.
And yet it brought forth beauty in the midst of weed and vine
through Summer storms and August heat — no help at all of mine.
My once blind eyes are open now and I can clearly see
the simple garden’s blessed gift bared once you set it free.
I bow my head most humbly now and lift my heart in prayer.
I ask these lessons I have learned to teach my soul to care…
Not for perfect flowered rows. Not for hedges preened.
Not for pristine garden beds with nothing in between.
I ask instead for courage and for strength to let it go
and to see the beauty hidden there where weeds unbidden grow.
Life’s garden, too, brings August plight, its weeds and vines and scourge.
But, the promise of each season causes new life to emerge.
For I know the Master Gardener and I marvel at His deeds —
the flowers and the sunshine and the thunderstorms and me.
I feel His love surround me as I traverse life’s crossroads,
be they garden paths or valleys deep, He helps me bear the load.
Which brings me to my garden, overgrown in August’s haze,
yet full of life and hope for what next season’s change will raise.
At times my life reflects those beds, their weeds and tangled vines,
as I stumble over rocks and thorns in my need to keep it mine.
So, through the heat of August’s days, the storms of Summer’s end,
I walk the garden of my life and to its work I tend.
And, if those tasks grow heavy and my heart cries out for peace,
I hear Him whisper in my ear, “Dear child, just let it be.”
Julianna (August 2014)