Thursday, October 22, 2009


There is a large plot of land in a city-owned utility corridor that one of my neighbors has taken as a garden. As we walked by there this summer, it was lovely to see his well-tended rows of veggies and produce grow. There was one section that had a whole plot of flowers. I kept waiting for the time when he would dig them up, section them off into pots or hanging baskets, because why else would you plant so many flowers in a spot virtually no one would ever see? But he never did.

There is something lovely and extravagant about that—planting flowers in abundance just for your own joy when you’re working in the garden. Planting them for unknown neighbors who wander by with their dogs. Planting them not for economic profit but just because they grow and they are beautiful.

If you looked at the front of my neighbor’s house, you would not see much at all, but in that secret place out back he has tons of flowers blooming. With this hidden beauty, he feeds those of us who know.

I am looking for that kind of evidence of grace—purposeless, extravagant, beautiful, hidden out back behind the house—because I know there has to be proof of this “exceedingly more than all we ask or imagine” everywhere around me and I’m just lining up my pots and planters too guarded to try it for myself.