I think that when someone ladled out hard and difficult questions, for the asking by the likes of us, the ladle spilled all over the spot reserved for children.
“What are wildflowers, Nana?” asked one, a few days ago.
“What’s a weed, Nana?”
“A plant growing all by itself in a place where no one wants or cares about it.” Pretty smart me, I thought.
“So, Nana,” murmers another bean, as we collected a bouquet of sunshine from a country road allowance. “What are these little yellow buttons?”
“They are also growing in your garden, you know. On the top of Hope Mountain.” Every time they say it, I chuckle at their nickname for the old sewage mound turned rock garden.
Observing child. “You’re right.”
“Do you want it there, Nana?”
“Sure do. Planted it there myself.”
Songbirds sing, but the bean is silent—for barely a moment. “So. Nana. It’s a weed here, but in your garden it’s a flower?” I almost hear her gray matter sizzling in the sun.
Bless the child. One day she may think back on that conversation. I hope she does. And when she does, I pray that God reveals the deeper meaning to her words: In His perfect plan, even the unwanted, the wild, the otherwise unwelcome have a place—and there, on the ascending slope of Hope, that which we shun becomes valuable—and in his time, beautiful. Because HE planted it there.
Lord, let me learn too.