Thursday, May 03, 2007

What I can learn from moonflowers

The unpromising little fellows on the right are moonflower plants, the first vines I have ever tried to grow. I chose moonflowers while fantasizing that they would grow up above the trellis onto my porch roof, making the porch look like a southern verandah or an English bower (with nods to Grandmere Mimi and to MadPriest, respectively). I chose them also because they open at night, and since I am still full-time in the rat-race, evening is the only time I get to sit on the porch.

I planted the seeds and was amazed that they germinated so quickly -- a matter of days -- and then two sizeable leaves popped out the top of each sprout. After about two more weeks, a slender tendril appeared at the top of each plant, extending upwards, seeking something to grasp.
I hurriedly got them into the pot, and helped them attach themselves to the trellis. Now that they have got a good grip, a row of new leaves is emerging.

Having been an English major is something of a curse (aside from the difficulty of finding employment). I find typos where no one else notices them. I found a misspelling in the Latin inscription of a stained-glass window at my church ("in memorium," which should have been "in memoriam." Groan! One of these days I'll fix it with a black magic marker!). I find fault with the grammar used on commercials! And where normal people see a plant, I see a metaphor in a pot.

It seems to me that my own spiritual growth has been not unlike the growth of the little moonflowers -- extending myself a little bit, learning new things, getting a grip, although a slippery one, on God. Wondering what He wants for me as I grow. Taking a new hold and putting out a leaf -- just a little one! -- and waiting to see where I end up. The moonflowers are growing quickly, upwards of an inch a day. If only my progress were as rapid!

Still, I'll keep putting out those tendrils, and see where they take me ...

1 comment:

Share Cropper said...

Dear MM, I can use your plant metaphor for my life this past year. I bought a beautiful confederate jasmine and planted it in a sheltered location and took care of it all year.Mulched for the winter. It died.
Now a few little tendrils are beginning to show leaves at the base. Maybe my health and faith will grow with those tender leaves and the tendrils will take me up again. I hope your tendrils keep going up and bunching out, then blooming to bring you joy.