My garden became my solace during the height of COVID19. That and my family. I’ve worked hard to plant, prune, weed, water, fertilize and train the many strands of vine variety that will ultimately provide shade in the way of a lush canopy to rest on my pergola.
These freaking vines have taught me more about training something haha will ultimate become exceptionally beautiful, They are very sensitive and with the slightest provocation or rough handling, will wilt and die. It’s been a learning curve for me. Much like parenting. Each child is different and can handle different levels or forms of discipline. While ‘disciplining’ my vines, I’ve had to learn the sensitivity of each vine and train accordingly.
Yes, God speaks to me in parables via my garden. Constantly.
The latest discussion between my Father and I looked more like a shouting match. Complete with my sailor’s mouth, that he still helping me overcome, completely flabbergasted. 1.5 hours, a 40lb 10ft. ladder haul a total of a mile at least, with each fumble of a chord or positioning of a bulb. Yes, Clark Griswald had nothing on me (Christmas Vacation) when I proudly plugged the plug into the wall for nothing, as in zero, nada, no light, no glow, no nothin’ happened. I spent 1.5 hours 10ft off the ground hanging the chord, then screwing in bulbs to complete my whimsical bier garten look and NOTHING.
My significant other hears me. The neighbors heard me. The dead heard me. I was done. He comes to my ‘rescue’ by asking obvious questions such as, “Did you plug it in to test BEFORE you hung them”? Short or wanting to strangle him with the chord, he stuck it out with me as long as he could until I reminded him piling on “isn’t helpful”. CLEARLY, I didn’t start with outdoor string lights 101. Sigh. Fleeing for his life and the good of our relationship, he abandoned me to my cussing and complete bewilderment. There is NO WAY an entire box of brand new Hampton Bay lights is bad. Even if they are made in China.
I let them hang, shut the door, waited till dusk and relived my misery all over again as complete darkness fell over my beautiful garden. P*ssed.
I decided to hit a Home Depot on my way back from the gym this morning. I was hell bent on not taking those lights down without a fight. I’m not a quitter. I bought a brand-new box and headed home. I laid out the 48ft. chord across my office floor as I mumbled more obscenities under my breath, mocking my SO’s voice “did you test the chord first.. blah blah blah”. I WAS TESTING THE CHORD this time.
I noticed the bulbs were a heavy duty plastic and not like the glass bulbs hanging over my firepit. This matters because I handled them a little more delicately thinking if I screwed them in too tight, I would run the risk of cutting myself on a broken bulb (past experience).
I twisted the first bulb in and NOTHING. As in, NO LIGHT.
Now, I don’t have to tell you what flew out of my mouth. I went from outlet to outlet in my office cursing everyone from the Chinese to Hampton Bay, my Pomeranian and for SURE my SO for leaving the damsel here to figure it out! Ugh!!
I took the Christmas light approach and decided to screw all those b*stards in before I plugged it back into the wall. And what do you know? NOTHING!
I was done. The dog scurried out of the room, the house became quiet and I just wanted to cry. Why can’t anything be simple?! I started in with my self pity party and I can throw a good one, let me tell you.
I plopped down on the floor determined to understand how TWO boxes of lights could be bad. And just when I thought of hanging myself from this damn 48ft. chord (not really), I decided to screw the bulb in just a little tighter (since it was plastic and all). And VIOLA!!!! God said, LET THERE BE LIGHT. I was like, OMG! I ran outside to the bulbs already hanging from my pergola and tried to screw each bulb in a little further. Some tougher than others to make the connection, but one by one, each light lit up! I was like a kid on Christmas morning! It was enough for me to think of popping bubbly before noon. In the South we call that Mimosa time or Brunch. LOL.
Now for the God moment. It occurred to me that one reason the lights weren’t coming on even though the chord was connecting each bulb to the source of electricity, the bulb itself was not connected to the conductor on the inside of the holder.
I stood atop my 10ft. ladder and realized these bulbs represent a lot of us. We wonder why our lives aren’t shining or our lights are out completely. Sure, to the outside world, we appear to be connected because our bulb is neatly tucked into a socket (job, hobby, group, church etc…) and as long as we only allow people to see us in the daylight, no one will ever know just how disconnected we are. Hell, most of us have no idea just how disconnected we are from our Source of all Light. Most folks are either burnt out or rusted and corroded where the connection needs to happen.
We were created to illumine this dark world. We were created in the image of the One who said “Let there be LIGHT” and there was. We are the light on a hill. We are called to walk in the LIGHT. Yet, the only way to ensure we remain free of corrosion and rust is to ensure we are completely and sometimes uncomfortably, screwed into the socket that provides our shelter, our path and road to the electricity of an all knowing, all powerful, all seeing and feeling GOD.
I couldn’t believe how much effort it took to get some of those bulbs to touch the conduit in order to light. I just knew I would break one. But I was reminded that haste usually makes waste and if we just slow down long enough to feel what’s right between our fingers, we’ll know when something is on the verge of shattering or breaking forth into the light it was created to emanate.
Are you completely connected? Here’s to hoping you find REST today. Sure feels like we are in the desert and utter darkness in this political climate most days, but even in the dry, dark, arid places of our seasons and souls, HE is there to comfort, provide and instruct. All in the spirit and the name of LOVE.
Because that’s WHO HE IS.