Ila's knees bent. She, dirt-fingered and hope-strong, placed the bulbs and tubers sixty years ago that produce year after year the shapes and colors and scents of God's heart as the flowers appear from the once blank page of snow and bloom into the greening promise of life forever and ever. This is my fourth summer on this 1/4 acre of perennial and cleansing work. I yearn to be this constant, to keep the promises I make as reliably as those named Daffodil, Tulip, Grape Hyacinth. And I have seen God's heart opening in me: strongfragile here, and I will put the work in my hands of bulb and tuber and hope that in some far away future, some strongfragile woman will leave the front door of this house to find the proof again that life always wins. Love, too, because this is love.
And when I peek out the bedroom window, I see her son on limping knee, in his 50's now, bend down and plant the tubers in a circle of dirt he dug quickly--as one who is responsible for thousands of acres of the stuff would--quickly, trusting in the sturdiness of the root He designed--and he is like his mother, gentle and hoping and good to know.
And I will know the dirt that accepts the living hands that still need washed and the dirt that envelopes the hands that have completed His work and can now rejoice in their sometimes stumbling commitment to that which He left for her to keep.
All around us, He has risen.