Earlier this spring, when the snow was still on the ground, I began my garden indoors.
I bought special seed starting trays, special organic, seed starting potting mix, and inventoried my seeds. Lots of tomatoes, some herbs, some peppers.
I wrote diligent notes and a diagram of what I planted where.
In about ten days the first few sprouts came up. I studied my diagram and my heart leapt – German Chamomile! I’ve been hoping to expand my medicinal herb garden and was ready to get that chamomile in the garden, as soon as it was warm enough. A few days later more sprouts came up – basil and tomatoes, parsley and summer savory. None of my peppers survived, but that’s a whole other post.
As soon as the ground was warm enough, the danger of frost past, the 10-day forecast thoroughly reviewed, I planted my baby seedlings in the garden, carefully placing my chamomile in just the right spot in the herb garden.
Within a week all those little pampered, spindly sprouts promptly shriveled up and died.
So the next time I was in a nursery, I picked up a healthy, hearty, gigantic (compared to what I’d planted ten days before) German chamomile plant and planted it in my herb garden. Determined to at least get it started, hoping that it would self-seed this fall and I’d have more coming up next year. It now sits, quiet and alone, on the edge of the herb garden with (literally) the future of it’s offspring completely reliant on it’s health.
And then the other day I was in our front yard, near the driveway and was noticing how quickly the weeds were growing. One particularly variety looked familiar and I bent in closely to take a look. Spindly, dill-like leaves, greenish-yellow bud getting ready to open, about four to six inches tall, soft to the touch.
Hundreds of plants of wild chamomile all around the outskirts of our driveway – the no-plants-land between the driveway and the fence. Popping up between the tire tracks on the driveway, softening and surrounding the spot where the trash can sits, even hanging out by the front steps by the potted geraniums.
I had struggled so hard to start them from seed, babied them for weeks with spritzes of water hand-sprayed from a bottle, determined the best spot for them in my herb garden based upon water availability, sunlight, room to spread and companion plants nearby, calculated the weather pattern before putting them outdoors, only to watch them die within a week.
And then, only a few weeks later, noticing God’s glory and providence sprouting out of the most inauspicious place, the driveway. Realizing that God had given me chamomile, IN ABUNDANCE, if only I had waited and kept my eyes open.
God speaks to me in lessons in gardening and parenting. Sarah, be patient. Sarah, my plans are not your plans. Sarah, come and see what I’ve given you. Not where you thought it should be, but where I thought it should be, and in my timing. It doesn’t have to be a struggle, just trust in me.
A lesson I desperately need to keep learning.