September 18, 2020
Embers from the Fire
A weekly blog by Deacon Dan Wagnitz for the Quad Parish Community
Free Flowers – 9/18/2020
My mother loved flowers in the yard. She loved them enough to work at it. I remember as a teenager watching her plant and weed and water and thinking that it didn’t look like much of a way to spend a summer day. That thought still influenced me much later in life when I had my own home and yard. My joy when paging through any seed catalog, or planning any landscaping project fixes on finding two words in the description: HARDY PERENNIEL.
About 10 years ago while paging through a seed catalog to help dream the last of the winter snows away, I had an idea for our front porch. Our front door faces east and it occurred to me that it could be the perfect spot for some morning glories. That spring I bought a rectangular planter, and I ran some cord line from the planter up to the eve. The idea was that the vines would twist their way up the cords and fill in that whole empty space with foliage and flowers. I envisioned all of our visitors being welcomed by an explosion of color.
Well, that was the vision. The reality fell somewhat short of that. The dog managed to tip the planter over just as the plants were coming up, one of the kids busted a couple of the cord lines, and there was a hot dry spell when we were gone on vacation. All we managed were a couple of spindly vines that never went much of anywhere, although we did get a couple of flowers. That fall I cleaned up the area and forgot about the morning glories.
The next spring however a single morning glory vine climbed up along the ewe bushes. I almost pulled it out thinking it was a weed until I recognized what it was. The little vine blessed us with a couple of flowers for a week or two before frost. It was a surprise to me. Each year the vines get a little bigger and a little more colorful. This year I have to say was a delight. There were enough vines that they climbed up the ewe bushes, and across the front step and they engulfed a little metal owl that greets people who come up to the door.
The flowers are purple. My brother Tom would have said that there are “deep, passionate purple”. Purple was Grandma Suzy’s favorite color. The bridesmaids in our wedding wore lilac purple. They have been greeting me every morning when I finish my walk for weeks now. They won’t last too much longer I know, so I took the picture that you see here.
God’s love is like these morning glories. His love is tenacious, you can’t suppress it. Even if you ignore it, he keeps sending little signs that it is there. His love is free. You don’t have to work for it, you just have to open yourself up to be aware of it. And he takes what little effort we put into the relationship and makes it bloom. We both smile.