My friend Sierra has a garden. It has lived with her, longed with her, grieved with her, grown with her. And through her living and longing and grieving and growing Sierra has written poetry. And it is beautiful. You can find her work here. She has a knack for knowing how to bless my heart, and, as she has faithfully tended her own garden, I am all the more encouraged to tend my own. And so, dear Sierra, this poem is for you. It's long and laborious, and does not come with a whimsical doodle to accent pithy depth as your poetry does, but that's because it springs from a different garden. We know the same Dearest Gardener, but he calls forth different flowers in different times. Thank you for being faithful with your spot of earth. The bouquets that spill from your heart are a sweetness to my own.
As I walk by my neighbor’s house
I view her little yard.
A little fence wraps ‘round the space
But never is it barred.
It welcomes every traveler in
And sets their heart at home
It greets each aching soul with love
When tired and alone.
And in this garden, scattered free,
Are flowers of every kind.
Where whimsy dwells with order there
And both are intertwined.
Chaos holds her dear friend’s hand,
Sweet Rhythm to endorse
A scheduled sense of ebb and flow
As seasons run their course.
I see the twigs and branches bare,
Then view the fullest bloom,
And wonder how my gardener friend
Can bear the yearly gloom.
“My heart,” said she, in gentle song,
With smile of radiant joy,
“Finds sweet content in seasons all,
And can not be destroyed.
For every chill, each blast of heat
Will woo each eager flower.
Not forced to grow for my delight,
Not bent beneath my power,
But as the Dearest Gardener
Brings life in His own time.
His heart is seen in seasons all,
And proves this paradigm:
Though all we see is lonely death,
In heavy loam and brown,
Sweet life is always close at hand,
Though hidden underground.”
Now as the garden breathes and sighs
Through every season’s change
I see my own heart realize
A deeply sweet exchange
For all the fallow earth I held
And thought it all but dead,
I now can sense a resting hope,
Rich with life instead.
In perfect timing blooms will come
Though winter seems to thrive.
When guarded through each season
Each garden stays alive.
So now I tend my garden,
A fence around the yard,
With trellised archways or’ the gate,
Though never is it barred.
I wish to show each traveler
No matter what has been,
Their garden, too, though tired and worn,
Can always thrive again.