Tuesdays often find me driving down the very first driveway I ever drove on.
The one at Blackberry Flats.
Once again life and laughter and love fills the house and the yard and the spot beneath the Scotch Pine–and all up its branches as the children climb and play, hardly able to be seen from our spot sitting on the porch–now Mess Cat’s and Leroy’s porch.
When I walked up towards the house yesterday, I saw a pot with a plant in it. For a second I thought, Oh well, isn’t that nice? Leroy got a new plant.
He’s got all the landscaping skills. I love seeing what he has added and enhanced.
But this, after a second of appreciation, this one confused me. Because–well, there’s a story there.
My Daddy often gave gifts that were out of the ordinary. On Easter he gave us children mechanical pencils. At Christmas he picked out music he loved and wanted us to hear. He’d often share a book he thought we needed to read. One Valentine’s Day he gave us daughters pretty colored tights. The purple was especially lovely–I can still see them in the clear plastic ball. And for Mama, he got roses. But not in a vase. In a pot. With soil. And he planted it by the back steps.
Many years later, when age and genetics slowed them both down, Mama decided to add a back porch to the house, complete with a ramp to make it easier for Daddy to go places. Daddy nodded, and it came to be. But before the steps were moved and the porch was built, the rose simply had to be moved. And so it was that Leroy came in and did just that. He moved it down to the other end of what would be the porch.
But this rose, like their love, had very, very strong roots. And one day, as Mama and I were sitting on the swing on the porch, I noticed little leaves coming up through the crack between the floorboards.
“Mama, what do you reckon that is?”
She looked closely. And then we looked at each other, realizing what had once been there. “The rose!”
Now how it continued to grow after Leroy dug it up and moved it was a mystery.
But a lovely one, to be sure.
Mama cut it back a little and tried to get cuttings from it, but she allowed it to adorn the porch. And it continued to grow. It intrigued me.
Recently Leroy went under the porch to see if he could figure out what to do about it since spring was here and it was popping its head up through the floorboards again, despite his cutting it back.
And this was the solution he came up with.
He’s tried cutting it back, and he thought about digging it up again, but in the end, Leroy decided to go with “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
And I love it.
I mean, I really, really love this. You know he’s a good man when he will put a hole in his porch to accommodate a living thing like that.
And that rose? What a beautiful reminder of the strength of the love of the two who started it all. And the spirit of new life and hope rising up after all that time in the dark and brokenness.
May we all find the strength and persistent spirit to climb up out of our own darkness towards the light and shine with all our being.
Love to all.