if you asked me to a greenhouse any day of the week, my answer would be without-a-doubt-yes. our first year in denver we lived in a 480 sq. foot apartment with illuminating south facing windows. within the first couple months, our extra wide window shelves were filled with plants of many kinds. i sadly admit—i killed the first five or six green guys. but after those botanical fatalities...i was determined to grow a green thumb. kyle grew up gardening with his grandmother so this coupled with an inborn attentiveness to detail, served as major help along the thumb green-ing journey. we now live in a space twice the size with twice (if not more) the amount of plants. i've put a *loose* pause on plant-purchasing until we've set aside specific shelves & spaces to house them because our kitchen especially feels like a jungalow. i've been trying to trace where my affection for plants derived from, because i tend to question "why do i like this or that?". my first guess was that i started to like plants in my home because it was the current trend. "i like this because other people are liking it". as a true blue individualist, this was definitely not my favorite explanation, but a seemingly honest one nonetheless.
i realized my trend assumption was incorrect when i opened a text message image of our backyard from my mom the other day. full of climbing vines, blooming cacti & huge leafed trees. i grew up in south florida—if you haven't been...imagine HOT & very tropical. drive down plenty of main roads & you'll easily feel like you're on the outskirts of a rainforest. as i pondered this, it began to make sense. there i was...thinking my fondness of greenery wasn't connected to my upbringing, simply because my mom didn't have many house plants. forget the houseplants—southwest florida is like one, giant greenhouse! i was struck by how our hearts are smart & recognize patterns our minds haven't caught onto yet.
i love having plants in our home because it feels like home—my original home. feels strange to say because if you know me at all, i am lacking in positive feelings for (outrageously) sunny florida. at least i thought so. turns out, we all might have more nostalgia in us than we thought. growing up in the sunshine state left a mark on me. the pieces of our hometowns make their way into our hearts, to stay.
the more i live, the less i know.
life has a funny way of making a fool out of us.
scorn a place or a person & soon enough you'll begin to see traces of that very thing peeking through you. perhaps it wasn't so scornful after all. perhaps your eyes were just looking for the wrong things.
how easy it is to wish away towns, seasons & experiences that don't instantly feel like the kind of memories we want to hold onto. i don't want to see things through scorning eyes. i don't want to miss the magnitude of "now". i don't want to long for what's next & miss what god has entrusted to me at present. because the future becomes the now & dreaming of the future is only as valuable as appreciating the now.
i wished away hundreds of florida days—"it's too hot. it's ungodly humid. the beach just doesn't do it for me".
how easy it could be to wish away my next one hundred colorado days—"it's too cold. snowboarding feels too dangerous. everything looks so dry & lifeless".
i want to see, not just look. i want to see it all with eyes wide open, living open-handed to all the glory waiting to be noticed by my hazy, blue eyes.
“Do not resent your place in the story.
Do not imagine yourself elsewhere.
Do not close your eyes and picture a world without thorns, without shadows, without hawks. Change this world. Use your body like a tool meant to be used up, discarded, and replaced. Better every life you touch. We will reach the final chapter. When we have eyes that can stare into the sun...then we will see laughing children pulling cobras by their tails, and hawks and rabbits playing tag.” - N.D. Wilson
may we not resent our places in the story.
may we not imagine ourselves elsewhere.
may we learn to be thankful & faithful—right where we are.