I don’t even know what they are. All I know is The Man brought home some packets of seeds, we planted them with the kids and now, they are tall, leafy, ready to bloom flower things. It amazes me.I just finished reading Life in Defiance by Mary DeMuth, the final book in the Defiance Texas Trilogy. The main character, Ouisie Pepper, is trapped in an abusive marriage with husband who won’t let her have a garden. But she plants secret seeds anyway.

I bend to the ground, run my hand along the iron-rich earth. Oh dear God, make these little seeds grow. I’m like those faith teachers, laying hands on the thing in need of resurrection. I wipe my hands on my pants, then move to the house’s corner where I’ve planted Ethrea’s purple rose shoot. It’s a greening stick saluting the gray sky today, but someday, Lord willing, it will reach magnificence.

– Ouisie Pepper

This weekend, I have spent a bit of time in our yard, examining the plants we have, pulling up a few weeds. At least, I think they were weeds. I have never felt any type of confidence when it comes to plants. I’ve always thought those pretty yards were for all those people who knew stuff about plants. I like my yard now, but it’s mainly because the people who lived here before us landscaped it nicely. We just try to keep up with what is already here.

But reading about Ouisie and her longing to have her hands in the soil and watch things grow reminded me of the beauty and life that comes from a small seed, broken in the dirt. I’ve been encouraged to learn a little as I go and not allow the fear of failure, even in such a small thing as a plant, to keep me from delighting in this tiny plot of leafy, green space in my backyard.


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