I think the reason I dig around in the dirt so much is because of my dad. (And he knows it. It makes him smile and laugh in great guffawing gusts.) So when I was outside enjoying their porch yesterday, and recording the dragging-of-my-sister by my enthusiastic outdoor girl (while making mental notes for a future “you know you live in a small town when” post), I couldn’t help but drool over the early spring flowers that are out in full regalia.

There are the miniature daffodils:

Last night he promised to dig some up and send them home with me, and also gave me tips on getting them started in the spring. (Even though you’re supposed to plant them in the spring, he assured me – and I trust him on this – that they’ll do just fine if I take care of them and get them in the ground right away when I get home.)

Then there are the robins:

We have robins too, out in the country, but they’re not tame. These town robins all but pose for my shutterbug desires. This one, for example, let me get my choice of shots, and this morning, knowing of my passion for daffodils, Dad came in to tell me that those daffodils are blooming! (Yes, I ran for the camera. Yes, I smiled profusely. Yes, I had a moment of just loving…God, spring, Dad, sleepless nights, everything.)

And then there are the bluebells:
I’ve heard about bluebells. Some people can’t get enough of them. But I’ve never seen them. But now, having seen them for myself (and having accepted Dad’s offer for a transplanted pile of these beauties too, before he could even finish the sentence!), having snapped off a whole collection of bluebell pictures, and having made great plans for a whole bed of bluebells…I can see why. 🙂

It is, in fact, my favorite part of gardening, this sharing of plants. I look out at the day lilies, and I remember the dear friend whose mother started the addiction for me. I see the irises (soon I’ll be seeing them this year!), and I think of my mother-in-law, who planted them years ago, who helped me thin them out last year, whose son has such a love of them. When the Rose of Sharon blooms, I see the hummingbirds and butterflies (and pesky Japanese beetles) congregate, and I smile in remembrance of my husband’s dear grandmother, whose Rose of Sharon was the “mother plant” (and just died a couple of years ago).

I send home starts with anyone who stands still long enough (or who mentions even a passing interest). Some of my daisies are spreading in Dad’s garden.

I have the garden inside the house, and I have the garden outside the house. And really, when I start to see the intertwining of the two, it points me to the garden where I want to end up, up there with my Father. When I stop to think about how it is that these beautiful children and these beautiful flowers bloom all around me, immersing me in their giggles and sweet smells, I can only pause on my kneeler of dirt and say thanks.

Because whether it’s dirt under my fingernails or bags under my eyes, whether it’s thanks to Grandpa’s green thumb or my husband’s persistent patience, whether it’s the wonder of nature or the miracle of birth, it all points me back to the One who created the order, with all the thanksgiving and praise I can muster.