Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Becky Van Vleet talking about the resilience of nature.
Every year I look forward to planting my vegetable garden, knowing full well that my husband and I will enjoy the fruits of my labor with fresh salads almost every evening for a period of time. I get so excited when I see my rhubarb wake up after sleeping all winter. I can almost taste the raspberries that will appear later in the summer when my bushes come alive again.
Come April, all my perennials around our whole house show their sleepy heads and inevitably burst forth with all kinds of promises of blooms in the month of May. The spring and summer months invite me to a bright and colorful foliage party every year, and I never miss it, always praising God for his artwork right in my yard.
But this year my yard party not only stalled, but nearly did not happen at all. I was devastated when on May 29 we had one of the worst hail storms I can remember. The afternoon the heavens broke open with hail about the size of golf balls gripped me in fear. For nearly an hour, the sound was deafening as hail pummeled our roof. I feared broken windows, not to mention destruction of all my beautiful plants that had already emerged from their winter slumber, showing great promise of what was to come. I watched this storm for a few minutes from my kitchen window. But I finally had to walk away; I couldn’t take the scene that fell before my eyes.
While I was thankful we had no broken windows and I believed our roof stayed intact, I went outside after the storm to assess the damage. I was heartbroken. My rhubarb was totally beaten to a pulp, my daisies and flocks and clematis in the front yard were flattened, my daylilies in my back yard as well as my cone flowers were no more. Even the heavy-duty branches of my mini rosebushes snapped. I couldn’t believe that within an hour, my beautiful yard turned from hope and beauty to ruin and ugliness.
What to do? Just accept it and look forward to next year.
But God didn’t leave me there. No, not at all. Slowly, ever so slowly, my flowers, bushes, and trees revived. I saw new promises of a beautiful yard, a comeback garden. I watched the progress each day while our sunshine and showers and rainbows gifted me.
Take a look at the “comeback” pictures to see the miracle God did with our yard! And isn’t that what God does with our lives? One day we are a mess and we feel hopeless, like there can be no comeback. But if we trust God and we’re patient, He will do mighty works to turn ruin and ugliness in our lives to new hope and beauty again.
About the Writer/Gardener:
A retired teacher/principal, Becky Van Vleet makes her home in Colorado Springs where she enjoys gardening, writing, oil painting, and hiking. But her favorite hobby is spending time with her family, especially reading books to her eight grandchildren. When they come to play at her house, they love to check out her vegetable garden to see if there are any pickings.
Becky is an award-winning author of children’s picture books, inspired by true family stories. She is currently working on her first novel, a young adult book about her father’s adventures in WWII aboard the USS Denver.
A little skirt that has been traveling around in her family for more than 70 years, passing through three generations, inspired her to write her first children’s picture book, Talitha, the Traveling Skirt.
Talitha, the Traveling Skirt
By Beck Van Vleet
Meet Talitha, a little plaid skirt that likes to travel. Through the years, she visits many two-year-old girls in a special family who wear her to get their pictures taken. But Talitha encounters problems when she least expects them. Filled with colorful and detailed illustrations, young children will delight in this heartwarming story about a little skirt’s adventures.
This delightful book, geared for ages 3-8, may be purchased at Amazon. Be sure to let Becky know if you’d like the free coloring pictures her illustrator provided. She can send those your way!