My low-maintenance hobby is gardening.
By low-maintenance I mean that I can do it when I feel like it and ignore it when I’ve got other things to do.
Sit down for this statistic. I don’t have a large yard. We’ve been in this house for five years. I’ve spent more than $30,000 to create the yard I want. And the result? My wife and I LOVE our yard.
We go there. We do things in the yard. We have people over. We see humming birds and butterflies almost every day. We have plants that only bloom two weeks out of the year. And we enjoy them for every day of those two weeks.
But sometimes we get too busy.
I have two Monster rose bushes. One is an amazing lavender color (guys: that’s a light purple) and the other is a great dark red. There are other roses, but these two are on either side of my weeping ornamental cherry tree. And these roses are almost as big as your head.
I’m not kidding. These are “freakin’ huge” roses. And I let the bushes get to be about six feet tall. So they’re massive and awe-inspiring. People as me whether I’ve fed them steroids or something.
But this year, at the very height of their first bloom, I have been four different cities and run all over the place. I’ve literally been too busy to stop and smell the roses. And I realized this afternoon that the spectacle is beginning to fade. The super explosion is almost over.
And I just about missed it.
The good thing about roses is: They’ll keep blooming. They’ll give me another chance.
Maybe that’s what I like about gardening. I always get another chance.
My daughter’s 16th birthday is this weekend. So I’ll be around for sure. But she’s going to have a bunch of friends over, so I won’t really be welcome to hang out with them all day.
Where will I be? I’ll be pruning the roses and the bottle brush bushes. I’ll refill the bird feeders. And I might replace a couple of straggling plants that bring more irritation than joy.
But I won’t feel left out of the birthday party either. For some miraculous reason, God has given us a daughter who says she loves us — in front of her friends. She talks to us about problems. She schemes with us about jobs and friends and school.
The good news for me is: I can put my attention somewhere else for a few days here and a few days there and my relationship with my daughter will still be good. Just like the garden. I can put my attention somewhere else and it will be fine.
But if I turn my attention away at the wrong time, or for too long? Well, I’ll miss something important.