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An Autumn Confession

Confession: Fall is always my hardest time of year. Maybe it's the fact that I've been going nonstop since May and I'm tired, or maybe it's the weeds that somehow have grown taller than me and are now staring me in the face (literally) as I begin the daunting task of cleaning up a season's worth of "going nonstop since May."

And especially this fall. After a drought and dragging hoses around, only to see that it still wasn't quite enough and some crops would simply have to wait until next year to shine . . . I'm ready for winter.

Amid these trials, there are definitely moments when I stop and ask myself, "What am I doing? What have I done?" When I left teaching five years ago to stay home with my girls, I had no idea or intention of landing here . . . but here I am. And now I just can't leave the flowers behind. But do I ever have my doubts about this change? Wonder if I made a huge mistake? Yes, I do. And--especially this time of year--I have plenty "what am I doing?" moments.

At an event recently, someone stopped to chat and said something that made me think twice. It was a simple statement, but I had never stopped to consider it before. She said, with a pat on my shoulder, "What you're doing here is so important."

I truly had never considered that growing and selling flowers could be very important-- sure, it was a nice thing to do, but could we survive without flowers? Probably. Up until now, this was just a passion of mine and I felt lucky to share the joy with the people around me. Lovely, beautiful, nice-- yes. But important? I started reflecting.

As I've written about before, I used to sell produce at markets from time to time along with a few bouquets mixed in. As I ventured into flowers only, I began to see a shift in my customers, and also in my interactions with them. When people stopped to buy cucumbers and squash, I always got a friendly greeting, and maybe a recipe or two. But when I started selling flowers . . . I noticed a trend.

As they hand me the bouquet they've picked out, people often share why they are buying flowers, or what they plan to do with them. It's an inside look at monumental events in their lives. They share things-- deep things, funny things, little things . . . little things that in reality are big things.

" My grandmother always had sweet peas in her garden," as she breathed them in and remembered. Nostalgia.

"I'm actually getting married today," with excitement brimming and a smile barely contained. Love.

"I'm going on a fishing trip and my wife is freaking out," with a frantic look of PLEASE HELP ME. I laughed and asked him, "Well, when are you leaving?" And sheepishly, he replied, "About twenty minutes." Forgiveness.

"These are for my daughter's baby shower," she said softly, then with glistening eyes, "After five miscarriages, I can't believe we're finally getting to throw her one." Joy.

"The doctors told me there's nothing more they can do. And so I should enjoy life. And so . . . flowers." Peace.

These are the beautiful things that customers share which I carry with me and these are things I always go back to when that question pops into my head. "What are you doing?" I've decided that maybe a better question to ask myself is not "WHAT are you doing?" but rather, "WHY are you doing this?"

A customer and friend recently sent me a card, and ended it by saying, "You and your flowers have been brightness on some darker days." That sums it all up really. To be the brightness for those around us WHY I push through when there are doubts, droughts, and weeds that are taller than me. It's reason enough to take a deep breath, pull out my planner and get going on next year's crop plans. Because the truth is-- we all need the flowers. We really do.

1 Comment

That was beautiful, Tracy! You are doing exactly what God meant for you to do! I can’t wait until Spring to see my beautiful flowers! 🥰

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