Thursday, March 17, 2011

Looking Among the Thorns

"You'll never guess what I found today!"

Eyes bright, I greet tired husband, minutes in from the office. "We have a crown of thorns bush growing by the place where the wild violets are! [not that he knows where this is] You know, like Jesus wore! A 'God hat'!"

As I bubble over with news of my treasure, he waits for me to breathe. "Does it make those white flowers?"

"I don't know. I don't think so," I continue. "But I need you to cut down a couple of trees--they're pretty small, maybe five inches in diameter, growing right in the middle of the bush, keeping it from...."

We've been together long enough for me to know when his eyes are laughing out loud even if he has his mouth carefully under control.

This flash of a twinkle, the slight crinkling around the outer edges of the eyes--they stop my lips, and I have to smile, myself.

It's obvious that once again, this farm girl by marriage is showing herself as the true transplant she is by making a very un-farm-like request.

And like always, husband's eyes speak his kind-hearted amusement, knowing this is one in a lifetime of things he'll be challenged to look at differently in our small corner of the hay farm.

His voice crackles slightly with nearly-unrestrained laughter. "When I was younger, Mr. Raggs would pay me each summer to cut down every one of those thorn bushes around his field and paint Roundup on them. Those things can really tear you up, you know."
I should have guessed--what I see as beauty is what a hay farmer puts in the "must die" category.

Since moving to his family's farm four years ago, husband has been exposed to creation through my untrained eyes. Much like his dad learning to see purple weeds through his grand daughter's eyes, husband has had to learn to see some things anew and to see others that never before crossed his farmer radar.

Where once he would mow everything flat, now he leaves patches of clover and other wild flowers until they go to seed, steers around night roses growing beyond the protective borders of flower beds.

He's even moved and has been working to restore his grandfather's small red "barn" for no other reason than his wife liked its history, its weathered cedar planks.

Even this time, with visions of a saw and Roundup in his head, he doesn't tell me "no," only smiles and finally chuckles a little. He'll cut the trees out of the bush's way, I'm sure.

The next day, the children and I walk towards the white flowers he pointed out in the fence row behind our house. It's another crown of thorns bush--this one in full bloom.
How could I not have known they bloomed?

I only remember the circlet my mother brings out each Easter, a crown of thorns she had made from a crown of thorns to remind us of Christ's sacrifice.

As I tell my children the Easter story in the shadow of the thorns, I can't help but think how perfect this "weed" is to represent the Resurrection season...the flowers among thorns, the beauty among pain.

1 comment:

  1. This is simply beautiful, Jennifer. The story, the pictures. I don't think I've ever seen that Crown of Thorns bush around here, but the significance, the symbolism... I read your post with teary eyes.

    The red barn... teaching your husband to look around, to see your surroundings from a new pair of eyes...

    It was a delight to drop by your blog place today... just to keep in touch.

    Much love