By Kate Shramek, YWAM Publishing
My resume as a gardener is fairly brief. And my early experiences—or rather experiments—with plants has revealed that my thumb is any color but green. However, these experiments have not stopped my endeavors to grow plants and learn more about them. Through the process, I have fallen in love with the serenity and hope gardening brings me, which is why spring is one of my favorite seasons.
This past spring brought a new season in more ways than one. In March my husband and I moved across the country, from the East to the West, right here to YWAM Publishing. I knew I would enjoy serving with the team at YWAM Publishing, mainly because my next favorite thing to being surrounded by plants is being surrounded by books. Still, in the chaos and hurry of our move to Seattle, I left behind some of my favorite plants (the ones that I did manage to cram in the car unfortunately died along the journey). I vowed that once I was settled, I’d replace the lost plants and grow an even better garden.
It didn’t take long for me to make good on this promise. I rescued a very brown, near-dead plant that looked more like tumbleweed than a Shasta daisy. I took the poor thing home and began a regimen of diligent watering. A few weeks of this showed no seeming improvement, and I nearly gave up hope. I was just about to dump the Shasta daisy into the trash when a hint of green caught my eye. As I cut away at the dry, brown stalks, I saw tender green shoots hiding beneath them.
I wonder if my experience relates, even a little bit, to a great book I read recently. Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map tells of explorer Meriwether Lewis, who with his partner William Clark braved one of the most famous western explorations in history. The pair sought to uncover a land route to the Pacific Ocean while learning as much as possible about the thousands of miles of unexplored territory they struggled through. Meriwether’s traits of courage and clear thinking are admirable, and really hit home with my experience of traveling across the country. My trip seemed challenging—snow storms, very little sleep, and two very unhappy, barking dogs in the backseat—but it was a breeze compared to what Lewis and Clark endured. I have them to thank for being able to drive from the East Coast to the West Coast in about five days.
The Shasta daisy that sprang up with new life now sits on my balcony, reminding me that although transitions can be difficult, new beginnings come from courage and perseverance. Appearances are not everything, and sometimes growth is happening in unseen ways. In the end, hope presents itself when we least expect it.
I’m excited for this new transition in my life, the beginning of serving at YWAM Publishing and living near family. It’s inspiring to know that there will be many more transitions and new beginnings to come. Even in the midst of drought and weeds, there will also be new sprouts of hope.