(Almost a year later and the jasmine outside my window is fragrant and full. Revisiting this post about my dear Daddy and the lessons he taught...lessons which I will never forget...)
I awoke this morning to the smell of jasmine wafting through my bedroom window. I kept my eyes shut and just enjoyed the fragrance for a while. I rarely take for granted the significance of these plants climbing up trellises on the side of my house. My father planted them nine years ago.
Daddy came for a visit when my children were small. It was the only one he ever made to my home by himself. And he stayed for almost two weeks. It's a treasure I will never forget. We had a high old time.
Went to the Getty museum (he loved the marble which covers almost every square inch of the grounds...he also got in trouble by a security guard for almost touching one of the paintings...hilarious! True to form, he was teaching me, giving me a lesson in oil painting brush strokes.)
We went to the beach,
went to the theater (Phantom of the Opera),
went out to eat at Maggiano's (Daddy charmed our way out of a 20 minute wait...we got in in 30 seconds).
Daddy even got to see students of mine perform 3 shows for sold out houses.
My favorite times, though, were the quiet ones. Walks around the block, Daddy painting and repairing some benches in my backyard (He asked if he could paint my house! Luckily I talked him out of that one.), painting a table with oils, and planting my side patch of grass. He said, "You really need some greenery there." As usual, he was right. We went to Lowe's together where he suggested climbing jasmine. I wanted the $40 per bucket ones that were already lush and blooming. He said, "No, just buy the $4.99 ones over there. They'll be as big as the $40 ones before you know it." I humored him even though I was a little disgusted to not have what I wanted, when I wanted it...which was right away!!
Daddy got to work, planting those tiny plants and installing small wrought iron trellises behind them. They could not have been more than a foot tall. Oh, me of little patience...how would I ever be able to wait to see them full and blooming?
I thought of that this morning as I lie, eyes closed, inhaling the splendor of these most gorgeous of God's creations. And I thought of the joy I experienced over the past nine years, watching the plants grow. I would carefully wind the tendrils around and behind the iron to make sure the jasmine was climbing properly. I watered them (praise God that they don't need much!) and cared for them. They climbed and climbed and grew and grew. So gratifying. Again...glorious!
What I would have missed had Daddy just acquiesced the lesson he wanted to teach, and we had just bought those $40 full growns and plopped them into place.
I would have missed the wonder and the miracle of cultivating life.
I would have missed the reward of careful time and attention to a cause.
And I would have missed the feeling of connection to my dad each spring when the jasmine came back to me in bloom.
So much I would have missed in my impatience.
Thank you, God, for sending me the father I received.
Another valuable lesson from him,
the master planter.