Spring is finally here and is putting on an amazing display of color. Buds are turning into blossoms, and then into green leaves that will give us pleasure and shelter all summer long. As I watch this amazing process, I become ever more aware how children and nature are alike.
Last week I was driving along a rural river road and spotted an old rundown house. Some of the windows were missing panes, the paint was almost nonexistent and it had that sad ambiance of loss. Indeed it had lost its family. My heart just ached. Then I saw patches of glorious color, bright and shining like the sun. Daffodils were growing all around the walkway, offering beauty, hope and a warm welcome. It was an amazing revelation.
Homes are vital to humans. They provide haven from the elements, safety, and a place to live and grow as a family. Every home was once a hope, a dream in the heart of the builder but sometimes unforeseen circumstances turn it into abandoned property.
The same is true of children who have been abandoned no matter the reason. Some parents leave because of poor choices, actions or death. Regardless of how it came about, our grandchildren have suffered loss. Like that old house, their paint is peeling and they are in danger of falling apart. Thankfully more and more grandparents are providing care for little lost ones who are grieving, giving them a new foundation that is strong and built on love.
They can plant roots and bring forth beauty, bloom like flowers that were planted with care. Sure they were dug up but were placed in a new home, one that fertilized them carefully so they could grow, flourish and bloom. Like those spring daffodils, they raise faces toward the future, one where the sun shines and an aged hand holds their tiny one securely.
As we walk this journey with our grandchildren through unknown seasons, we can rest peacefully knowing that the hearts we nourish today will be filled with joy in the decades to come. We may not be here in winter to see how our little spring buds turned out, but future generations will be impacted by the care we grandparents exercised in the raising of our grandchildren. The bulbs were planted with love, tended with gentleness and pruned carefully to insure a good outcome. That is a gardener’s dream come true.