Bring Me Sunshine

Most of Bring me Sunshine comes from my journal, thoughts and reflections from June 2021 while in lockdown, now I don’t know about how it was for you, but for me, well apart from the heartache of not being able to cuddle my daughter and my grandsons, I was enjoying the solitude.

Let me set the scene, we live in a house on the corner of a close, it’s got a front lawn, a side lawn and an enclosed back garden which is surrounded by a six foot wall. It’s June 2021, the season of sunshine and showers and I am sitting in the conservatory listening to the most beautiful bird song, breaking the silence of a peaceful summer evening after a wonderful day of sunshine. Everything in the garden is growing so quickly, and the sunflower seeds I planted last week are already appearing, all but one have now popped their heads out of the soil to let me know they are alive. New green leaves have grown from a tiny dried seed. Just wonderful, they are called Hope. My tomato plants have shot up and the lupins I transplanted have survived and show signs of flowering.

I love watching things grow. The only thing I am not happy with, is the hedge outside our garden wall; IT’S GONE MAD. It’s grown so much it’s casting a huge shadow over our garden. The wall is six foot and the hedge a good four foot higher which is making our garden so dark. I took a good look at this now monster hedge and called my husband to come see a curious thing, stuck eight foot up tangled in the now thick branches. I had been looking to see if there were any birds nesting in there as we want to cut it down before we start our garden makeover. There to my surprise was not a nest but a rugby ball all tangled up, “Hedge Stops Play” it probably belongs to the boys from the close. No nests, so the hedge has to go, two days later our neighbour is giving this monster a trim, but it’s not enough, so my husband had a chat with him and they have decided to get it cut down to a more manageable height. Time to call someone in ….

Well a week has gone by and all my 14 sunflowers are sprouting up fast, they are still on my windowsill in the conservatory, it’s so important for them to have light, warmth and water, one week later and I am having to repot all my sunflowers into bigger pots, if I don’t they will become pot-bound which will stunt their growth. Just like all living things change happens, and to reach full potential they need to be growing in the right place. Now my little sunflowers will need to be in a sunny spot with good soil and plenty of water. When fully grown they will produce a head full of seeds, which the birds will love. Sunflowers are amazing, from morning till evening their faces follow the sun, it’s wonderful to see them grow.

Then it’s July, and my garden is looking good, everything is growing well, especially the tomatoes and sunflowers. I’ve given lots away to the children, these sunflowers are called “Hope” not the giant variety they are a much shorter flower.

10th July 2021: Well the day has arrived YEAH!!! The monster hedge is gone and WOW!!! There is so much light in the garden and I can see a great expanse of sky. The kitchen and conservatory is so much lighter, even our next door neighbours say their place is brighter. What a difference. That hedge steadily grew over the years and we didn’t notice just how dark our garden had become, until it was gone. The hedge didn’t belong to us, it’s on council land but our neighbours agreed and helped us cover the cost of cutting it down. That’s the thing about letting something grow, it can grow out of control, and this hedge, well!! It took two men and a chainsaw to cut it down. Some branches were as thick as a man’s arm.

To get the light we needed, a radical cut with something very powerful was needed. Now once gone, we kept looking at our garden, amazed how different it looked, so much light, a good job done. Costly, messy, but so worth it. The light transformed our garden and all the plants are loving it, especially the sunflowers. I have planted them where they get the sun all day, and from sunrise to sunset their faces follow the sun. We are going to keep a close eye on that hedge and make sure it doesn’t grow over the wall to steal our sunshine.

This whole event got me to think about my life and growth, is there anything that has grown out of control and is casting a shadow over me? Now we know we all know living in Wales, you don’t get endless days of sunshine without days of rain, days and days of rain sometimes, cloudy days, grey days as well as beautiful days of sunshine. That’s what gardens need, sunshine and showers. Gardens grow in every season, what about me? Do I grow well in every season, in changing seasons? Well, I have many gardening books to help and advise me about my garden. All with expert tips on how to solve problems and to grow almost anything. I also have a book to help me to grow and solve problems, my bible. Our God certainly knows about growing things, He created it all and he lovingly tends it all. In John 15 it describes God as the gardener and Jesus as the vine, and us as the branches. He watches us grow, prunes us so that we can bear fruit, he sends the rain and the sunshine, all the time he is watching over us. Even on grey, cloudy days, when after a heavy downpour and we are bent over under the weight of the rain, He is watching and waiting for us to lift our heads and look to the  SON. His son David wrote in Psalm 25:15: “My eyes are ever towards the lord”. I do hope that in my life’s journey, I will be able to keep my face following the Son, Jesus, each day from sunrise to sunset.

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