Monday, August 10, 2009

The Mt. Laurel

I meant to share this photo of Mt. Laurel earlier, back when it was still in bloom.

This flower is from a bush, small and scraggly and low to the ground. Anyone would look at that bush and think it was a seedling, barely old enough to bloom and probably about to die. But this bush has lived in that location for about 13 years ever since I rescued it from the side of the road where it was about to be paved over in a road-widening project.

Where it lives now the soil is poor (clay and rock really), the neighbor tried to mow it down once or twice, and there's been droughted summers just about every year.

Why doesn't this bush give up and die? The various winterberry holly and columnar barberry bought and planted nearby died after just a year each, but the Mt. Laurel struggles on, stunted and small and determined. It has the wildling tenacity those nursery potted plants didn't have.

It knows it must grow where it is planted. It must do the job God gave it to do -- bloom and grow -- in the spot it's in no matter what the conditions.

It does not long for the soft rich soil of other garden beds, or the constant water of the greenhouse drip hose, or the easy lifestyle of other shrubs. It simply grows, does its job, where it is.

And every spring when I see that it has lived through another year, when I see those few glossy dark green leaves and that tiny offering of delicate flowers my heart thrills. It's still alive! Anything is possible.

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