Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dead but Life-giving

I'm probably one of the few people in my neighborhood, possibly my township, who doesn't deadhead my flowers when they die. I tend to leave my daisies, sunflowers, coneflowers, black-eyed Susan's and the like out all winter in their dead state. 

I don't do it because I'm lazy. I don't do it because I think it looks good in my yard. 

I do it because it feeds the birds.

Already my sunflowers are looking un-magazine worthy. Every day I see the birds over at the flowers picking at them and flying to the roof of our sunroom which is right outside my sewing room window. There I see them eating their pickings. I've seen the Cardinal 'daddies' (as we call the males) call to their female mates to share their meal. I've seen different species fight over the morning's pickings. 

The cat has taken up residence on my sewing table which is right in front of this window. The sheer volume of birds outside that window is too appealing for her instinctive cat-ness!

I've been thinking about other things in our lives that may seem ugly and dead but that actually are life-giving. 

It tends to be the ugly and the tired and the dead that teach us the most important things in life. How do we know the glory of love if we've never seen hate? How do we learn the value of peace if we've never been in the midst of war? How do we learn the character building that happens when we persevere through difficulty if we don't directly experience it?

So as I see the birds gather around my dying garden, I thank God for the difficulties in life, for the ugliness, the sorrow, the pain that ultimately show us the joy of love, peace and joy. The spring colors after the fall and winter of brown.

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