Kim Henderson: Be thankful for the small things

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, November 25th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. WORLD commentator Kim Henderson now on wildflowers and gratitude.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: In February, with spring just around the corner, I pulled out a gardening DVD and watched it until I was fully inspired. I knew just the right place for my field of dreams.

Next, I had to sell my husband on the spot. It was flat. Sunny. He succumbed, but the work was hard. He plowed, then plowed some more. 

Good Friday came and went, and we knew we had to get some seeds in the ground. This would be no ordinary pea patch, though. I proposed exotic pumpkins and spaghetti squash. He wanted a row of cotton. We both thought the pound of deer-resistant wildflower seed was a nice idea. 

It’s a good thing I kept our usual herbs close to my kitchen, since nothing edible came from my field of dreams. Time to hoe and haul hoses a hundred yards was hard to come by. As they say in these parts, things went to pot. Everything, that is, except my wildflowers. That 50-by-5-foot effort seemed to thrive on inattention.

For nearly six months, it was a showstopper of cut-and-come again California giants, dahlia, cosmos, aster—and God’s wondrous creativity. I kept my vases full and gave away bouquets and invitations to come pick yourself silly. Drivers had floral eye candy to catch on their commute. Mamas had a good place to plop babies for photo ops. Hummingbirds and butterflies had a feast.

With summer still hanging in the air, I took a pair of granddarlings to the flower patch to snip dead tops. Later we sat in the floor and twisted the heads until seeds—wads of them—fell into our bowls. I packaged the precious byproduct, along with a good measure of hope.

Recently temperatures dropped, and our field of dreams did its death dance. Petals curled. Stems bent. Brilliant lilacs, fuchsias, and golds vanished in the night. I regretted that I missed one last harvest, and I stopped to consider the real value of a $20 bag of seed.

If the weather holds and the Lord wills, on Thanksgiving we’ll front our barn with a row of folding tables and lay them with linens and china and foods both familiar and foreign. (Yes, I’m slipping in a few new recipes.) 

The granddarlings will laugh on the trampoline, and the grandguys will move from lap to lap. The cousins will catch up, and their grandparents will tell them to speak up. We’ll pass tea and rolls and time. Together.

And just before a baseball game begins in the pasture, I plan to pull out my bags of seeds and pass them around. As I remind my loved ones of big purchases made this year—cars, homes, trips, and such—I want to tell all who will listen what joy a simple patch of flowers brought me. I will encourage them to be thankful for the small things, and I hope they will hear.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Kim Henderson.

(Photo/Creative Commons)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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One comment on “Kim Henderson: Be thankful for the small things

  1. Elizabeth Edgren says:

    Thank you, Kim Henderson, for this story! This will stay with me, and motivate me to be a flower-growing, flower-sharing, seed-giving woman. Not sure how that will look here in high, dry New Mexico, but by golly I ‘ll give it a go! The beauty and love of this simple pursuit and gift will be worth it.

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