Our Bold Dares

It’s audacious and daring actually. What is it about this bold act that says it’ll ever work?

We push fingers into dark soil, scooping out vaults. Then with brazen hands we press small brown bulbs into the earth and claim they’ll rise again.

Burying them, covering them, we smooth the ground and walk away, with nary a trace of them left.

It feels like a swindlers trick, a money scam, and yet every few years I peruse bags, choose colors, and plop money down.

On a sunny day this month, I kneeled onto damp green grass. Red leaves swirled and dropped. Yellow maple trees shivered and shook in the breeze. Autumn afternoon sun scattered brilliantly across a shocking blue sky. And the beauty caught me. I stopped and snapped photos.

It relaxes me, this time of plunging hands into earth, smelling the loam and dirt. I scooped and filled, scooped and filled. Planting bulbs in October reminded me of my Dad’s death, the one year anniversary of it came and went October 27th.

While heaven’s hello is still far off, I know the results of pressing violet, fuchsia, and yellow tulip bulbs into the ground, along with tall bobbing purple alium heads. I’ve seen them. Can’t deny them. I look forward to seeing them each year, and have been bowled over by the gorgeous beauty that springs from them.

Bold, brave, audacious flowers erupt each year from dark empty-looking dirt. I’ve seen it. I know it to be true.

And so I peruse bags, choose colors, and pick up my dusty trowel. It looks different at the end. The splendorous results are nothing like the simple bulbs I handle now, and I know it to be true. Life will come. This is not the end.

Several days later, my husband and I clear off the kitchen table, and plop heavy pumpkins on it. Six squat orange squash await faces. I pile knives and carving tools around them, and scatter empty bowls around for the seeds and pumpkin pieces that’ll follow.

“Mom, when are they here?” Daniel asks impatiently, popping his head in the door.

“Soon, buddy! Want to climb a tree?”

He dashes out, eager for his big brother, sister-in-law, and sister to arrive.

For hours into the night, six of us smiled giddy at our pumpkins, imagining their faces, picturing who they would be. We carved and cut, deliberated and decorated. Deep dish pizza slices dripped juices and oil onto small plates. Tangy lime papaya cubes glistened as we popped them in our mouths.

Pumpkin seeds waited and dried, spread across metal trays. Sometimes the good things are now, sometimes we have to wait.

But the bold dares? The audacious hopes? They seem less daring as the evidence piles up, as each year’s experiences and gifts stack before me.

Our God’s gifts are constant, tender, daily as the sun. His presence is there. He walks beside us. Some gifts are now. Some gifts we await.

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  1. Anonymous on November 5, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Jennifer, what a beautiful post! So good to read your writing and see your photos. I like Mark's jack-o-lantern best, am confused about Morgan's, wonder why John's has a stick in its eye, and think yours, Daniel's and your DiL's are the most traditional. But what is going on with your DiL's JoL's chin??

    Beautiful leaves, beautiful thoughts. I've been wondering how you were dealing with the anniversary of your Dad's departure to heaven.

    (This is your Central California artist friend, using the Anonymous button to comment because I can't remember how to sign in with my Google account)

  2. Houseofmills on November 7, 2018 at 3:46 am

    Beautiful pictures!! Looks like fun family time together.

  3. Alecia Simersky on December 7, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Jennifer! It's been too long. Always good to pop over and catch up. Waiting is so hard yet so important, I have to remind myself of this often, I'm quite impatient ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Cheryl Barker on December 15, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Hi Jennifer, I join you in being thankful for God's constant, tender, daily gifts. And grateful to know that flowers will indeed bloom and beautify our world. I'm sure our faithful Father ministered to you during the first anniversary of your dad's death. October hold the anniversary of my mom's death too — the 21st.

    May God bless you and yours this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

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