Eyes to See

Our neighbor, Ron White, tills the soil for planting native grasses and wildflowers
Rained out, I hustled my electric hedge trimmers and extension cords downhill under the pavilion. Darn, all I needed was thirty more minutes to prune my last three rows of lavender shrubs.
I was much younger when we planted that west plot in 2008. What glorious work and fun it was to break new ground—to make a vision happen with tribes of women who helped develop my lavender farm.
Now my hinges hurt when I bend. And the old lavender plants aren’t as supple, either. They’ve grown woody and brittle, succumbed to neglect, Queen Anne’s Lace and other native seeds.
But I see signs of life, empathize with green leaflets in the shrubs’ crown, so I’ll give them another season in hopes they bloom.
For bees love lavandula angustafolia, commonly known as English lavender. My new bees will appreciate lavandula’s flowers come July. Talk about nectar flow.
I ordered only one bee package this year. After beekeeping three hives last summer and fall, I’ll avoid losing numerous hives again in one swoop.
I’ve learned it’s best to let go something you love in small portions, like we do belongings of a departed loved one. Sue, a good friend, lost a toddler son, then years later a teenaged daughter. A few weeks ago when I visited Sue, she led me upstairs to her daughter’s bedroom, freshly painted and decorated with new and old things left behind.
We stood on hallowed ground alive with memories, love, and courage. And profound sorrow.  
Every parent, pet owner, and grower of plants and food knows the disappointment in losing what we’ve nurtured with all our mind, strength, and spirit. Yet, we realize everything has a lifespan.
Iris waters Hidcote, 2008, now both older girls
In my neck of the woods, lavender seldom celebrates a tenth birthday. Of the three lavender fields we planted, only two partial plots remain.
After dinner featuring our fresh asparagus with cashews, I determined to finish those last three rows, rain or shine.
 Walking up the hill I waved to our neighbor Ron. His tractor clanked away tilling the soil where he had removed hundreds of Grosso shrubs a few days prior.  Yep, Grosso means “big”, so we hired a pro for the job.
Ron’s lost two sons, “boys” who worked by his side in their landscape business. I imagine he misses them most this time of year.
At the sight and scent of turned soil I envisioned a new field of Big Blue Stem and Indian Grass swaying in the wind—less maintenance in the long haul. That’s the plan.
Yet, one never knows what the future holds. As one dream is fulfilled and fades, another steps on stage in passing.

Dear Reader, the rain held off until the old girls stood shorn and delivered of dead wood. I have a feeling this is their last summer with us. I see Big Blue Stem and Indian Grass instead.
This I believe: for every loss there is a gain. God, grant us grace and eyes to see it.