Roses on Mother’s Day, a garden bittersweet

One. Two. Three.

More roses have bloomed since that first one. I feel triumphant. I feel happy. Just in time for Mother’s Day, I think to myself! But there should be more. More roses coming. Maybe even more bloomed by now. But rose-less stems stare back at us. And we didn’t do this pruning.

Green Fables rose bloom in time for Mother’s Dayđź’–

Thud. Thud. Thud.

He jets through the kitchen with his spaceship and his spaceship noises. I love the sound. I love to see him soar. But there should be more. More noises. More little boys. All around the world. More.

Beat. Beat. Beat.

Have you ever felt the power of a galloping horse? The wind in your hair, the air warm. All hope. And possibility. How much more the powerful love of a mother hearing the gallop of a tiny, enthusiastic heart. It’s the ride of your life. But there should be more. More birthdays. More time earth-side. More hearts beating. More children. More mothers. More.

I love you.

I say it with a smile looking down at my daughter putting dish cloths on her head like a hat. And there should be more. More dirty dish cloths. More scattered toys in kitchens. More daughters in the world.

More. More. More.

But we linger in the garden, and we linger in the kitchen. We give thanks for what is good and beautiful, hold dirty dish cloths with full hearts, are safe to let joy be joy.


We do not turn our heads away from rose-less stems that cut us deep, the floors we wish were messy, because even in the questions, the time cut short, the loss–we trust God is good. Still lean close when we don’t believe. Find out once more, in all the mores, He is trustworthy. We let grief be grief. Didn’t Jesus also weep? We cry unashamed for what should have been, what should be more, and we let Him heal, transform. We know that He can. Here and then fully Forevermore. We breathe…sometimes hardly, sometimes peacefully. But we breathe. On and on and nonetheless.

We are women safe to linger in these kitchens and gardens, these complicated places. God’s blessing washes over us, and we marvel. Still we wait for dawn, for morning, heaven, for things made right.

But never with stiff upper lips.

It’s just us vulnerable. Us safe. Us in joy. Us in grief. Us in good. Us in blessing. Us in what should be more. Us in hope. And God with us. God with us. God with us.

what will get in the garden
what kind of damage will the roses
how many rats will come with teeth
if I bite my nails far enough, and hold my breath long enough,
will I change the way this season
will bloom?
If you ask me a strategy, I’ll scream
and it will sound like silent nothing,
I’m choking.
With bleeding nails in a black hole of minutes and clenched fists,
I’m more tired than what sleep can
But I can’t be everywhere at all,
I tried.
And I can’t be anywhere right now,
I wish..
Yet even when I feel no peace,
I lay me down to sleep, crashing, pitiful,
jarring sleep.
And still in the chaos of my humanity, gentle

I AM watching over you, and you will watch
roses bloom,
and many more beside.

half asleep, still shaking, I’ll never know how many rats,
never know all the darker things, heart clanging in my chest,
imagine if I did, (I can’t!), but between the glass ceiling of my understanding, and the black hole of my fear,

God watching over me.
Sleep sweet again.
Peace at bleeding fingertips.
God making roses bloom.
Planting them at my feet.
Watching over, waiting with me,
gentle Whispering.

A greenhouse
in the dead of night.

-S.V.F. (Greenhouse)

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