Sad as I am to see them go, I am very excited about the new flowers I planted today.
Whenever I plant flowers, I can't help but think of Jacob 5 and the allegory of the olive tree. The imagery of pruning and fertilizing and nurturing a tree speaks to my soul. I draw parallels to nurturing my children, my family, my testimony, my soul. I think of times when I have been well pleased with the many gardens in my life, and also the times when I have stood among ruins and asked, "What more could I have done for my vineyard?"
I think of Alma 32, which talks of planting the seeds of faith. These are my favorite verses:
37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.
41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
This summer, these are the literal seeds that I will nurture. Every time I look at them, or water them, or fertilize them, I will also think of faith and obedience and diligence.