Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Grower

My handprints mark the walk,
one of many between tall, wooden benches
abloom with carnations.
Poinsettias, mums and lilies marked other seasons.
In winter, the warm, damp, earthy smell.
Air conditioned coolness in summer.
Dad, in his work apron over white shirt and tie,
size 12 rubber boots,
moving up and down the wet walks
hand-watering the plants.
Me, splashing barefoot behind,
jumping over the hose,
dodging his playful spray.

Minute seeds sown;
fine soil screen-sifted over,
misted, and covered with glass.
Seedlings transplanted;
pencil holes poked in soil,
plants carefully placed and tucked in.
Geranium cuttings taken;
sharp knife severed stems,
dipped in rooting compound,
pushed into vermiculite.
Larger plants placed in orange clay pots;
handfuls of dark earth scooped in and tamped down
with a final thump of pot on bench.

Rich, the earth of love;
warm, the glow of caring,
nourishing, the sprinkle of encouragement.
Pruned back when necessary, we grew,
roots deep and firm,
to stand on our own in full bloom.

I still can see
those small handprints
impressed in cement.
That high, whole-arm wave
across rows of green
and the grower’s smile.
His large, calloused hands as gentle with me
as with his smallest of seedlings,
which I was.
Within any greenhouse, I find
Dad’s footsteps echo still.
His handprints mark my heart.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful...”    John 15:1-2

1 comment:

  1. Greenhouses affect me the same way... and I'd forgotten about that 'whole arm wave', which was quite welcoming in its exuberance.