We have a very lush green garden in the back of our home as well along the side and front. This includes a fruitful mango tree, papaya trees, coconut (pipa as they are called in Panama) trees, and various types of palm trees. And then there are many varieties of tropical flowers – hibiscus, halaconia, etc. We also have hanging ferns, potted plants, and herbs such as oregano, mint, and lemon grass. Some we have planted, but most were already here when we moved in. During the wet season, many of the plants and flowers quickly thrive and the garden becomes very full. I love our garden.
But with having a garden means having to keep it up. This means: trimming back; raking up mango leaves and picking up fallen mangos; watering potted plants and the rest of the garden when it’s dry season; pulling weeds; cutting down the coconuts so they won’t drop on your head; cutting off large palms that have dropped so low you have to push them aside to walk by; sweeping up leaves and flowers on the sidewalk; picking up and disposing of dead palms (some very large and heavy) that have crashed down into the garden; harvesting ripe mangos and papayas; fertilizing and controlling insects especially ants and mosquitos; only to name a few things (or in this case many things). I have never been much of a gardener and have never claimed to have a green thumb. But it seems I have been nominated for the job lately. Mikkel has been very busy with his online business and his back has given out, although my back is not in the best shape either. We really need a gardener for the big stuff. But like trying to find a housekeeper, we have had a couple, only to lose them afterwards for different reasons. Our landlords are looking with us. The first one when we first moved in was great. But one night he got drunk and crashed his truck, resulting in his death. We have had a few others, but they seem to get busy with other work, etc., and then we are back looking for another one. So I am trying to keep up with things as much as possible in the meantime. I really don’t like it, but it has to be done or our garden will overtake us being how fast as it grows during the wet season.
So today, being Thursday, which I now have deemed “Thankful Thursday” for my blog, I am reflecting on what I can be thankful for instead of complaining or dwelling on the negative. One can get that way if you allow yourself to think about all the things that you don’t like such as never-ending housework or gardening. I am choosing to take the positive road and enjoy my blessings. This is not to say that there are things I don’t like or problems that occur. But I prefer to view them as an adventure, learning experience, or just accept and find the good when you can’t change the circumstances or situation. I prefer to enjoy this life where God has lead me, knowing all things work for good.
I look around our garden and see all the beauty it brings to us. This time of year many flowers are in bloom; so many vibrant colors. While sitting on the front veranda or back patio, several varieties of butterflies flutter around from flower to flower along with the bright neon-colored hummingbirds which makes a clicking sound as they hover over each flower to drink the nectar. The palms quietly rustle with the ocean breeze creating a very calming “tranquilo” feeling. And every day I observe the rapid growth of the plants which reminds me of God’s wondrous creation. Despite my dislike for gardening, I am given a picture that no painting can truly reveal. My response can only be one of thanksgiving for this beautiful “third life” I have been given. When I get a little down, all I have to do is look outside my house into the garden.