I had lilies just like this one in the painting, when I lived in Minnesota. They grow wild and are very hardy. They spread very easily. People use them for ground cover to fill in unused areas of property. Indeed, it was very easy to maintain these flowers. All it took were a few transplants and they took off on their own.
I’d heard that the same is true for chives. At a property we were staying in, in Indiana, the grass in the back yard had been overrun with chives. My husband noticed the distinctive onion smell when he walked out there. The chives were like weeds.
So, when I wanted to plant them here, where I’ve been living for the past four years in the Deep South (Georgia), I thought it would be easy. It was not. I went through two chive plants that we bought from the store. Dead. And dead. Then I planted from seed. They didn’t even germinate. I tried again. Nothing!
I wondered if I should plant something else in the lifeless pot. Why was it so difficult to plant chives? True, it’s been hot here, and chives like cooler weather. But there’s been a break in the heat and still nothing! All that was growing in there were a couple of pea spouts, from seeds that the birds had carried from my patio garden container over to the pot I’d intended for chives (cardinals, they’ve been caught in the act of transplanting my garden seeds several times!).
Today I read about something called a “prayer walk”. The author said you should walk prayerfully and be open to receiving a gift that will have spiritual meaning to you when you see it. I wanted to try this, so I did. But I didn’t see any gift and I shrugged it off as “oh well, I guess that didn’t do anything for me”.
I was heading back into the house when a flash of vivid brilliant red caught my attention. There was a red butterfly flying in my line of sight. I looked it up just now to see what I could have seen, and I think it’s a “red admiral”, a migratory butterfly that spends the winter in warmer states, such as Georgia. The red is only in the markings on the body, but it is so bright that when in flight, a flash of red would definitely be possible. I think that’s what I saw.
It was flying in the distance, across from the pot of soil where I’d planted chives seeds. I looked at the pot, considering whether or not to pull the errant pea sprouts planted by the cardinals. Lo and behold! My chives had sprouted! There were many tiny stems! Spiritually, this felt like my gift, and I instantly realized it was a metaphor for life in general.
When I want something to happen, I must be persistent. Try a new way. If the seeds don’t grow, try again. And I must live my life without obsessing and watching the pot. The seeds I planted and thought would never grow may just sprout, just when I was about to give up.
Have you planted seeds? You may not think your work is making an impact, but maybe it is! You might feel as if your efforts are never going to pay off, but maybe they will! Perhaps you’ll see a red butterfly and look down to find that the seeds you’d planted have sprouted. I mean this figuratively, metaphorically, and spiritually, but wouldn’t it be amazing if you literally saw a red butterfly too? You never know!