Lent and Sweetpeas

I’m going to grow sweet peas this spring
I won’t allow the busyness of the day to interrupt
I won’t let the excuse of sultry spring sun
and red clay soil divert me from my plans

I can’t remember now
and being there is no one to ask
when I was young
or maybe it was eight
my mother
planted sweet peas in the backyard for my birthday

Were they to be in bloom by my birthday
or did she plant on my birthday
always a few days either side of Mother’s Day

Edging a small patch of grass squared by
Gus’ gas station
my father’s television repair shop
Interstate 70
and Washington Street
she knelt on red clay soil
already sprayed for bugs and weeds
my father’s madness

She planted
I now understand
maybe to forget
mostly to make something pretty
almost certainly to give me hope

To my surprise
surely not her’s
they grew
ruffly pink flowers on twisting stems
twining their way around a chain link fence bordered by
and asphalt
and thirsty bistre grass still in winter slumber

This year
I’m going to plant sweet peas
in my clay soiled garden
in spring
with hope

Author’s Note:

I always wonder from where the inspiration will come for my next set of words.

Today is day three of Lent. It snowed. But it rained first. And I revel in the rain. I always see it as a gift from Him, especially on a day off from work. It’s our secret joy.

I am looking at Lent through new eyes this year. I want to move closer to being fully present in my life and not shackle myself with guilt from the past, nor give myself something to fail at so that I can again feel guilty in the future.

I spent sometime on Facebook in the morning and came across this delightful video on Ben Aaron’s LXTV NBC page. It made me feel so very good, I decided to make a playlist with some favorites of mine. A dear friend saw my post and decided to name this “wancing.” Watch the video.

To make a long story a bit shorter, she wasn’t at home to “wance” with me in the snow when I stopped by her house. But on her doorstep I left her her very own copy of my playlist and a chocolate bar. She’s been a bit down lately.

Coming back home, I “wanced” through the entire twenty-three minute playlist by myself in my office and sat again, this time to do a little writing. With a photo of sweet peas in front of me, I don’t know from where that photo came, this poem appeared.

Lent is a time for being present.

It is a time to allow room for His gifts to live and bloom inside of me. It is a time to discover what is right in front of me, hidden deeply, covered by my ego.

It rained and is snowing. I opened myself to be silly and enjoyed being in this fifty-seven year old body. And a profound sadness with new understanding entered, remembering my mother.

Blessings all around.

My “wancing” playlist.
Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi Trio
Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
I Feel The Earth Move (Live) by Carole King & James Taylor
Physical by Olivia Newton-John
Birthday by The Beatles
Dusquesne Whistle by Bob Dylan

Sound Cloud: Listen to me saying this poem!

2 thoughts on “Lent and Sweetpeas

  1. I’m sorry I wasn’t home to wance with you, Friends picked me up for an early birthday lunch–pizza at the Mellow Mushroom and then a stop at Trader Joe’s. You, my friend, are a sweet pea. I will look forward to seeing them twine themselves around your railing near your deck.

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