Morning Glories

13 years ago, I wouldn't have known a Morning Glory if it climbed up my leg.

But then, we planned a wedding reception in my mom and dad's back forty. The wedding was in June, and during the winter months leading to the big day, we of course were busy with plans and ideas for making the day wonderful. In the back yard, there stood an old broken down shed, one side of which faced the area we wanted to use as a dance floor. It wasn't such an attractive look for a wedding reception, so we decided to plant something to grow up the side of the wall.

We chose Morning Glories. One cool morning in March, my mom and I went out and planted the tiny seeds at the base of the shed wall. What an act of faith. I didn't believe that something so simple and small would work, that the vine would grow, the flowers bloom. I wasn't then, nor am I now, much of a gardener; that job is reserved for my dear spouse, who was, I think, born with his hands in the earth. But for me, planting those seeds was a rather foriegn thing.

You mean, that's it? That's all I do? Stick these tiny little specs in the ground and...wait?

Because it was spring, we didn't even have to water the little seeds. Mother Nature took care of that.

By June 18, 1996, the wall of the shed was covered with thick vines and glorious purply-blue flowers. They were bold and wild and absolutely perfect.

The simplest act yielded the greatest beauty.


On our morning commute to school, if I use the freeway instead of surface streets, the offramp I take is lined with Morning Glories. While waiting there for the light to change from red to green, I look over and see the familiar purply-blue flowers, brightening up an otherwise gritty, urban space. They remind me of so many things, of my wedding day, certainly, but also of my skepticism, and then my conversion to believing in the simple act of planting seeds, to having faith in beauty, strength, and the reliability of little things.

Mother Theresa says: "Do small things with great love."

Believe that what seems too meek a thing can in fact yield exactly the results you are seeking.


When my children think the world is too scary, when I can't seem to hammer life's most important lessons into this one's head or that one's heart, when it seems like too many things that I have no control over happen to my kids: believe that small and simple make a difference.


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