My fault, completely. I'd waited for the perfect weather. Waited for the spare time. Waited...for what I should have simply made time for.
Now one plant had completely dried up and withered away. The young basil would be next if I didn't intervene...and soon.
Leaves hung limp. Brown spots covered the yellowing ones. Dirt, hardened and caked, became unmanageable around the thinning stem.
This would be painful.
First I soaked the earthen pot in water to get the dirt loosened and workable again. Then, ever so slowly and carefully, I plucked off each damaged leaf, knowing to leave them would sap the plants limited strength. It would need all it had to disperse its roots into the ground I'd put it in.
Sweet basil scent tickled my nose, enticing taste-buds of delicious meals it would one day flavor. But not yet... Not these diseased, damaged leaves. Gloved hand opened, as crushed, pieces of possibilities fluttered into the trash bin.
Once done, it looked about as pathetic as my dogs on bath day, all scrawny and trembling in the breeze.
Exposed. Bare. Weak.
Finally, I set the fledgling plant into it's home in my garden, conditioning the dirt around it, readying the ground to receive its new occupant.
Then I hoped for the best.
It seemed a harsh way to treat a plant. And as I worked, thoughts struck me as they often do while gardening....
How many times have I neglected my spirit?
How many times have I put off tending to it?
How many times had God needed to come in and prune off the dead, ignored growth in my heart?
Doesn't my spirit need good, fertile ground to take root in? Doesn't it need frequent drinks of His holy presence to quench thirst? Doesn't it require a strong Light presence to build up strength?
How many times have I found God plucking away the damaged parts of me?
I've been left feeling exposed, bare, weak...
Yet, despite how harsh it feels at the time, His loving hands work diligently to set me back in firm ground so I can grow strong again and produce what I've been created to produce.
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers...Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)