On Easter morning I enlisted the help of the children at church in planting sunflowers in a number of small and large pots. They each had the opportunity to push little black hard-shelled seeds into the loose brown potting mix soil. We planted small pots so that each child could bring one home, and three large pots, with numerous plantings have stayed at the church. My job in the weeks that have followed has been to watch over the pots. I transfer them outside, to a sunny spot near the main doors during the days that I am at the office. Each Sunday I have help moving the pots from the main entrance into the sanctuary.
I have been enjoying watching the new life emerge. The plan is to transplant the sunflower plants outside the church building. We have a number of flower beds that were lovingly developed by devoted members of this congregation, and they are a legacy that deserves to be honoured, cared for, and renewed.
I am excited at the prospect of these sunflowers thriving in the churchyard, a symbol of new life, of resurrection, of the absolute wonder of God’s creation.
I had coffee this morning with Richard and Nancy, senior members of the congregation, who now live in a retirement home. They each invested a great deal of passion and effort, and were leaders in the initial development of the church gardens. I told them about the sunflowers. Richard’s eyes shone as he talked about what he sees in a flower. He spoke of the arrangements that are on the dining room table each day in their retirement home, and about the delight he takes in their colour and form. ” To think that all this beauty emerges from a minor seed, puts one in mind of the wonder of God’s creation. It is life, and there is life in so many forms.. the animals, the plants, and in all the people… ”
Richard’s words touched my heart, and reminded me to open my eyes. When I returned to the church this afternoon I checked in on the sunflowers, and walked the church grounds. There is work to do, to nurture and care for all the flower beds, to clear away the detritus of last fall and winter, and help life thrive.