On her blog, Heart of Mission, Nancy Elder has posted a picture of azalea blooms and writes, “Signs of new life … elicit smiles and lift the heart.” Reading her words is timely for me. I just disposed of a little branch of azalea blooms that my 3-year-old grandson picked last week. As I dropped the fading blooms into the trashcan, I thought of the many occasions when one of my grandchildren has insisted that we stop to pick flowers from my yard or along a path or sidewalk.
At age three, Emmett has recently been captivated by flowers. This summer he was enamored of a little flower bed of zinnias in a hidden corner of my yard. The zinnias were an experiment – could I get zinnia seeds to grow in the one spot in the yard where I have strong morning sun? Would it even be worth the time and effort to plant the seeds and nurture them, given that the bed was between a wooden fence and my husband’s workshop, several yards from the house?
But Emmett made my zinnia experiment worthwhile. From the minute the first bloom appeared, Emmett delighted in checking their progress. He would come into the house for a visit and then dash out to that far off corner to see the zinnias, eventually declaring the orange ones his favorites, and insisting that we pick several for his mommy.
As I dropped the faded blooms into the trash today I wondered why all children are delighted by flowers—not only cultivated blooms, but the flowers that we call weeds – the scraggly ones that make their home in a near perfect lawn or that rise up tenaciously from a crack in the sidewalk.
Maybe it has to do with something Elder said in her blog, perhaps children “never underestimate the power and wisdom and gifts of God, our Creator.” Today is a good day to practice the wisdom of children and set aside our busyness to observe the beauty of God’s creation – in nature or in someone who we meet today.