BY VICKEY STAMPS (c)
The ground waited patiently for its dark healthy soil to be dug up. The cold weather had gone away. It had been warmed with the sun. New life was showing itself in many ways. “AH” spoke the earth, for it felt footsteps upon its surface. Worms, near its surface began digging in quick frantic downward spirals, for where the sound of human feet were felt, it was almost always followed by a turning of the earth. The gardener hummed, happy as he walked the small bit of acreage he owned. His mind was busy and being filled with visions of how the rows would look in only a few weeks.
Hundreds of ‘potato eyes’ lay in the many rows the gardener had laid across the land. He had tamped down earth upon each spot, giving each a gentle pat and wishing each row a good-night. Potato’s were his very favorite of all things to grow. Why that was, he did not know, but he did know hungry children lived everywhere. Even if other things did not grow, if the potato’s did, the children could survive on them.
As the weeks passed, the earth began to change and a pregnant mound rose from the ground beneath the leafs of the large mother plant. Such care had been taken to water, nourish and speak to the plants of being all they could be, that new life was finding a place for itself and pushed its way to the surface eager for birth..
Within the ground, and in the land of imagination, one nearly completely grown up potato became quilt full of adoration for himself. “How handsome I am” he spoke to himself, thinking himself far better than the other potato’s that lay in the rows of earth around him . “Why shouldn’t I have a bit of fun while I can, for soon I’ll be made a meal of, and I feel I am better than for such as that”. The potato began to behave in the way only a foolish selfish potato could, and lived in the most riotous way . It made an effort to take nourishment the earth offered each day, and beyond his share, whenever he could. Rather then rest and grow and be all he could, he would twist and turn in an effort to dance, and tried as hard as he could to pull other potatoes liquid from the earth for himself. He had such a wonderful time, that soon a few other smaller potato’s became overcome with excitement, and were soon clamoring to join him in his endeavors. Before one could say “Stop!, you are making a terrible mistake” it was too late. They lived in such a energized manner, they pulled away from the vine. It was too late. Now there was no nutrition at all and they lay quiet within the earth turning into rotten potatoes. The leaves began to turn yellow and then brown, and finally wilted against the pregnant earth. There were many potatoes within its soil. The good gardener knew the signs to look for, and no longer watered the plants, for the earth must dry and the potatoes mature a little more.
The spade sank deep into the ground around the potatoes, at a gentle curved angle, and soon they and the roots from which they’d grown spilled out for the gardener to see. Gently he picked them up, brushing the dirt away, lying them out upon the ground for the sun to further dry and harden. He saw that a few had become rotten, and he touched them with sadness and compassion, lifting them up, telling them all was not hopeless. He dropped them into a large compost bin. “Now you have a second chance to be all that you can be. You will become a mixture of other things that have become no longer useful. When you are watered and turned many times over the coming seasons, you will become a thing of great value. I will spread what you will have become upon the earth, Which will draw nourishment from you, for the next garden to be planted.” The Gardener knew that what he spoke was true.
The potatoes lay in small families in front of the mother plant from which they’d been removed. Happy excitement in their land of imagination was taking place and they chatted among themselves. “I shall be Steak Fries or Tater Tots” said this one and that, and the others replied in turn “I shall be buttered potatoes, I shall be cooked with little pearl onions, bits of garlic and plump pea’s and surely put a smile on a humans face, I shall be baked and served with sour cream, or have other tasty things placed upon my surface, I shall be scalloped potatoes with fluffy cheese mixed into me, I shall be part of a wonderful stew”, and so they went on, feeling proud and happy knowing they had become as they were meant to be. They waited for their future and being placed in bins and bags, for stores and restaurants. Some would be such a good quality of potato that they would be saved to become mother plants . Oh what an honor that would be. After all being a parent was quite a responsibility.
And so it is with life. Are we like the potato’s that responded to the true gardener and his love, or are we like those that twist and turn in rebellion from life, till one day there is no help or turning back. But wait, remember after all, that there was hope and help, a second chance when all was thought to be lost. The Good Gardener is waiting. Will you listen and be all that you can be. Will you hear His voice, and when He speaks, will you listen?
Life is good!