I have a springtime tradition. When our lovely tulips have reached the end of their season, I plant in their space marigolds from seeds saved from the previous year’s flowers. This year, with the combined preoccupations of our daughter’s engagement and June 27 wedding, and my cataract surgeries in the weeks following, the almost annual event did not take place on schedule.
I was reminded of the tradition when I came across some very lonely-looking marigold seeds in a kitchen drawer, and had an inspiration. Why not plant them with my three-year-old grandson? Even though the calendar said late July, we have had blooms until December in previous years. So, on a sunny Sunday, the little tyke and I carefully dug up the earth, placed the seeds in the trench, and covered them. After giving them a generous watering, we began to look forward to the day when we might see little seedlings poke their leafy faces out of the ground. I was hoping it would happen before the grandkids returned home to Florida.
Our efforts were rewarded a week later when I saw tiny red stalks topped by long leaves reach for the sky. My grandson was thrilled to see them, and on more than one occasion remembered that the baby plants needed watering. We began anticipating the appearance of flowers in the weeks ahead.
But then the rains came. Accompanied by frequent lightning and no-waiting-time thunder, the deluge continued throughout the night, the entire next day, and off and on into the following day. I was certain that such tiny, fragile plants–some of which could not stand up to overzealous watering–would not survive the downpours. I was beginning to think about replanting or replacing the marigolds for the sake of my grandchild–until my husband, up early this morning, informed me that the “babies” were fine and looked better than ever.
There is a moral here. If these tiny plants, supported by a thin stalk, can survive–and benefit from–such a relentless deluge, think what we bigger, stronger, and smarter beings can withstand. The storms that invariably come our way (unkind words, illness and injury, G-d forbid, disappointment, misunderstandings, and the like) have the potential to inundate us, but–like the baby marigolds–we can not only survive them, we can use the excessive rainfall to help us grow and thrive.