I love to garden and spend time selecting what to plant where. It’s a family tradition, probably from my British ancestors who loved gardens, no matter how small. There is a certain satisfaction in watching flowers grow over time and remembering when you planted them. Over the years one can trace the passage of time by noting when the now bursting seeds were planted.
Imagine my surprise one morning to see a growing vine:
I though first about ripping it out because I know when these kind of vines get going they don’t stop overwhelming other flowers. But then I thought to let it go; after all, it was just beginning to climb up a pole where I had placed a bird feeder and I wasn’t feeding the birds because of cats outside. So I let it go. The result is what you see in the photograph above–a flowering vine seemingly stretching toward the sun, a thing of beauty I had no hand in planting, a gift given freely.
You can learn a great deal just by observing what’s around you, especially in the natural world. That’s how ancient people learnt what’s important.
So what did I learn from this morning glory?
First, some of the more important parts of life come unexpectedly, when we least expect them, and over which we have had no part. You have to stay awake to see them, however, which is why the first words of some great wisdom teachers is this one: Stay awake!
Second, surprises can be good or harmful. The morning glory is contained to one pole now, but I know in other parts of my garden it can overwhelm, even kill, other plants. Again, staying awake to the possibilities is what is needed.