A month before we were to be married, Scott and I journeyed to South Hamilton, Massachusetts to visit Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. It was in a place I have long dreamed of living, the northeast. It’s questionable whether or not I would really fit in this area of the country, since I tend to tell a few more stories per conversation than necessary. The trip was wonderful. I stayed with three lovely ladies, one who was preparing for her wedding a few months after ours. The wedding planning process had stressed me out and these few days in Cape Ann were just what I needed. We spent a day in Boston which was great, we got to sit in on some interesting classes, and we worshiped in a beautiful chapel. We also watched Jim propose to Pam (The Office) crammed in a room with Seminary students around a small television. We didn’t go to school there, but these three days were wonderful. We flew back to our homes at sunset. Normally I am terrified of flying, but it had been such a great trip I was just at ease and thankful. I was reading a book by writer Jenny Lee, I did. I do. Now what?! It is a wonderfully funny and honest telling of the weird transition from being single to being married. It is a weird transition and reading her telling of the experience is hysterical. Scott and I had a couple of books on marriage we read before the big day (Gary Thomas’s Sacred Marriage and Dave Harvey’s When Sinners Say I Do) and this is just one I picked up at a used book store to lighten the seriousness a bit.
I love to remember those moments on that plane. The pink and orange sunset, laughing out loud at my book, and a feeling of hope that comes with upcoming adventure.
Fast forward seven years. This year my daughter and I were so excited about Spring. We have a couple of plants and all the time we talked about where to put a garden and what it would grow. One glorious day we went to purchase seeds. My daughter and I excitedly danced around the seed display as Scott and our son stood watching. “We could grow this and this or that and these!” Well into our cart landed a packet of pumpkin seeds. The thought was: “Wouldn’t it be fun to grow pumpkins?!” The thoughts of where to put pumpkins and how to care for them did not follow, until now.
Now we have little pumpkin seedlings sprouting forth in our sun room. I have NO idea what to do with these guys. I’m not going to lie, I love the idea of having our own personal pumpkin patch. It just seems like fun, right? Where to allow these plans to take over our yard is quite the question though. Sunlight is in high demand in our yard. I can’t allow them in our garden plot, there is not enough room.
In Strega Nona’s Harvest (my favorite in Tomie DePaolo’s series), her less-than-capable hired hand plants his own garden which resembles a jungle. This could happen to our backyard. I don’t know if I can create a picturesque pumpkin patch. Create a mess of vines and rotting pumpkins? Probably well within my abilities. Now there are three plants that are begging to be put in the ground. Who am I to disappoint them? Who wants dreams of pumpkins squashed?
The feelings surrounding our seed buying remind me of the feelings I experienced on the plane after the trip to the northeast. Those moments on the plane faded into the stress of wedding planning, picking a seminary, and adjusting to married life. The joy wasn’t a lasting feeling, but it was brief and wonderful. Buying seeds with my daughter was a few fun moments in a day, hopefully to be long-remembered. All this to say how thankful I am for little breaks of hope into life. The Lord has taken such good care of me and my family. Sometimes I forget how well and then I look back and see the glimmers of hope, the moments of peace and expectation. As I grow older and more of these moments occur I hope that I am becoming ever more trusting of my Savior.
Now to be faithful to these pumpkin seeds and unfaithful to the middle of our backyard…