Awake, O north wind,
And come, O south!
Blow upon my garden,
That its spices may flow out.
– Solomon 4:16
Mother grew up in the South and often longed to surround herself with reminders of her old haunts after she and dad moved to the Pacific Northwest.
One thing she really wanted was a mimosa tree. Grandpa Griggs brought the seeds up to Mother from Arkansas one year and told her, “I don’t know why you want a durn old mimosa.”
Mother ignored him and managed to get one seed to sprout and grow. She planted it under the yard light, for some inexplicable reason. It grew slowly in the inhospitable soil and stayed small.
But we kids loved it. Its leaves were magical.
Grandpa’s “durn old mimosa” was a Mimosa pudica, a native of Central and South America that found its way to the Old South of the United States. Mother managed to get one growing against the yard light pole in northern Idaho, far from the motherland.
Mimosas are also called “sensitive plant,” or “touch-me-not.” The stems of its branches are lined with little leaves that recoil and instantly fold up when touched. They also close up when the sun goes down each evening. Because we lived in the country and had little to entertain us, my brother and I liked to go out and torment the mimosa.
As the tree matured, it bloomed frothy pink pompoms that smelled heavenly. When I grew up, married, and had my own home, I got some seeds from Mom and managed to start a durn old mimosa of my own.
We put it in a sunny corner of the yard where it had good soil and gave it lots of water. Since Mom’s plant had always struggled, I had no idea they could get big and bloom prolifically, shedding sheets of pink pompoms in the grass.
That was probably why Grandpa Griggs didn’t like mimosas. But to me, their surpassing beauty, sensitive nature, and fragrance is worth the annual mess. When it’s covered with flowers and the summer breeze blows its sweet perfume across the yard, it fills my heart with joy.
I wonder if that’s how God feels about us.
I am a transplant. I don’t belong in this place. I belong somewhere else, in a heavenly garden fit for a King. He took the seed of faith that I offered to Him, watered it, and planted me in this world to grow, reach to the sky, and bloom for Him.
When life has tormented me; when I recoil against Satan’s taunts; when my soul folds up against the night, I am still the plant God has nurtured, watered, and loved. When life gets messy and I shed remnants of my old nature all over God’s green earth, He delights in the fragrance of my trust.
He chose me to be here. Now. In this season. He has chosen you to grow where He has placed you, too. Rejoice in the knowledge that His Spirit moves across your soul, releasing its beauty to the world.
You are worth the work and the mess. Bloom on.