Sunday, March 10, 2013

Traditions: Creating an Easter Garden

Because we are in the middle of a giant, cross-country move, I haven't figured out how to pull off this project this Easter. Well at least not in the same way as in the past. And that's sort of killing me. I know, I know. I need to let go of my expectations this year and instead be focused on our family's transition. But it's extra difficult; truly, this is one of my most favorite traditions that I do with my kids of the entire year.

I've been getting a lot of visits to my blog via Pinterest because of this project that I shared the last two years, and for those of you who are new, I just wanted to share it again. (Did I mention how much I love it?)

Here is our Easter Garden from two years ago.

* * *

Last week, I tasted a bit of the holy.

Not often do we get those chances in life. But I tried a project, and it became so much more.

Immeasurably more.

It's shocking that all I did was make one choice to step out. Try something new. A lot of times, my ideas don't work. They don't flesh out like I imagined. People are whining, hungry, get the idea. Not exactly what was pictured on the magazine page where everyone is sitting so...very...still.

But on occasion, an idea becomes out-of-the-blue magical.

On one of my new favorite blogs, Contented Sparrow, I saw this idea for making an Easter Garden. Lo and behold, Megan lifted it from my favorite, Ann at A Holy Experience, and this post from 2009. Ann called it a visual parable. I was mesmerized.

And my giant pot was empty.

After school pickup, we drove straight to the garden store. It was sprinkling, but under the umbrella, I had two helpers fluttering with excitement about making our garden. Everyone got to choose some miniature plants. Everyone anticipated the planting of something special.

Creating with hands in fresh soil brought focus, life coursing through little plants brought gentleness. Even the rock path was laid carefully.

Truth-planting and life planting all at once. All life hinging on truth. Life sustained by the very breath of truth.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life."  
John 14:6

At first it seems that the way leads to emptiness. A tomb lies hungry for death. A prickly cactus at the end of the path reminds us of pain, the so very great cost.

But water in our pond reflects hope. 
“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”  John 4:10

The garden awaits.

On Palm Sunday, we'll read the greatest story every told, we'll light candles along the rock path, and wait for Him, eager and burdened with a debt we cannot pay.

On Good Friday, the candles will not be lit.  We'll read about the darkness and the earthquake. And His words.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34

Jesus will be wrapped in a cloth and laid in the tomb. Men will stand guard, as if they could contain Life. Saturday, the path stays dark.

But Sunday, Easter Sunday, now that day makes all the difference.

The stone will be rolled away.

The cloth will lie vacant.

And we will celebrate freedom.

Looking at our Easter Garden every day as I walk past makes me long for Him. The empty scene is merely a reminder of my empty condition without Him. But a promise is also rooting deep.

For the next month, we'll watch the thyme and succulents grow, and feel the promise of Life swell within our hearts.

"For God loved the world so much that He gave..."
John 3:16

ADDED: To see what happened in our Easter Garden one month later, on Good Friday 2011, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Last year, I did this literally with weeds and small spring pop ups from the front yard and it was so special and beautiful. Maybe this is my year to make it even more so and buy some. :)