Monday, July 20, 2015

Beauty in Unexpected Places: The Story of a Pumpkin Plant

I'm lacking a green thumb.  My yard reflects that fact.  The flowerbeds appear neglected.  I would use the term "survivors" for the few healthy bushes that remain.  Little energy and focus is spent on landscaping.  Some may see this as a flaw; I see this as a reflection of a full understanding of my God-given gifts.

Recently, I peeked out the front window, and I noticed a large green vine draped along the mulch beds.  Beautiful orange blossoms swung from the plant.  At first glance, I huffed and thought the weeds have intensified their attacks.  They have become bolder and don't even make an attempt to hide anymore.  They seek mulch bed domination!

But then, I looked closer.  This weed-looking plant was actually quite pretty.  The springy vines interwound with the coral flowers were lovely.

I raced into the house and told my husband about the not-so-ugly weeds.  

"They're not weeds," he laughed.  "That's a pumpkin plant."

Puzzled, I asked, "How did the pumpkin plant end up right next to the front door?"

Enter Cooper.

Last fall, he scooped up pumpkin seeds and planted them among the flower beds.  A horticulturist friend said not all planted seeds bloom.  Cooper, she explained, planted the seeds in the perfect location for the plants to receive adequate sunlight and nutrition.  And for all the plants that refuse to grow in our front yard, this plant thrives.

Perhaps he is the one with the green thumb.

I wanted to be mad, but how do you punish a child for creating a thing of beauty.  The problem was the placement.  An ever-growing pumpkin plant by the front door looks odd.  It would find a better home in the rear of the house or in a garden.

If I thought our house had a chance of being on the cover of Better Homes & Gardens, the pumpkin plant would be unrooted and removed.  But, in some ways, the plant fits into the vibe of our house.  Beauty lies here.  Sometimes it grows in unexpected places.  It can be found in the conflicts, the clutter, and the the chaos.  It grows amid a home full of imperfect people.  If we were striving perfection, we'd never see the beauty that can live in places it shouldn't.  It sits within the walls of our house and within the souls of six people.  





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